On the experimental farm, we are working on problems related to water logging, especially in fields where crops are standing. There is a marked increase in plant diseases. Fusarium wilt disease in on rise, and so is the yellow mosaic virus of pulses. Girdle beetles are making their presence felt too.
Fusarium wilt is a fungal disease and affects a number of herbs. Those that are most commonly targetted by the fungus are legumes, cucurbits, tomato, potato, and some other members of the family Solanaceae. The fungus is omnipresent in the soil but gets a boost in warm and moist soil conditions. It enters the the plant through the vasculature in root tips and migrates to different parts of the body. The process is similar to how a pathogen enters human blood stream and migrates to different parts of the body resulting into a rapid spread. The fungus and its spores ultimately cause the clogging of the vasculature, bringing the transport of water and nutrients inside the plants to a halt, eventually causing the wilt. Using resistant varieties, mixed-cropping techniques, crop rotations and proper drainage of the field are few of the solutions to control the disease.
|Yellow Mosaic Virus. Both images courtesy Google Images||.|
Coming to the connection between rainfall and the diseases, there is a direct link between rainfall and Fusarium wilt. We need more data to establish with confidence that there is a connection between amount of rainfall and incidence of YMV and of the beetles. Right now it is a correlational evidence at best.