Protection From Pests And Disease
Crop protection management:
Crops, as they grow, are infested by a large number of weeds, insect pests and diseases. If these weeds, insect pests and diseases are not controlled at an appropriate time, they can damage large quantities of the crop produced.
Weed and weed control: Weeds are unwanted plants in the cultivated field. For example, Xanthium, Amaranthus, Parthenium.
Weeds harming crops:
- They compete for food, space and light. Weeds take up nutrients and reduce the growth of the crop.
- Weeds may produce toxic substances which may interfere with crop growth.
- During harvesting, weeds get mixed up with the crop to lower down its quality.
- The weeds spread crop pests and diseases by acting as alternate host to insects and microorganisms.
Methods of weed control: Weeds can be controlled by following methods:
Mechanical methods: These include the following methods: uprooting, weeding with towel or khurpi, hand hoeing (scrapping), interculture, ploughing, burning and flooding.
Culture methods: They include proper bed preparation, timely sowing of crops, intercropping and crop rotation.
Chemical methods: Destroying the weeds by spraying special chemicals called weedicides like 2,4- D (2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid), MCPA (2-methyl, 4-chlorophenoxy acetic acid), Atrazine and Butachlor.
Biological methods: It involves the deliberate use of insects or some other organisms which consume and specifically destroy the weed plants. For example, cochineal insects are used to eradicate the weeds called Opuntia (prickly pear).
Insect pests and their control: Insects which destroy or damage crop plants are called insect pests. All crops are attacked by insect pests.
Insect pests attack the plants in three ways:
- They cut the root, stem and leaves (Chewing insects).
- They suck the cell sap from various parts of the plants (Sucking insects).
- They bore into the stem and fruits (Internal feeders).
Thus, they affect the overall health of the crop and reduce yield.
Preventive measures of insect pests:
- Clean cultivation
- Optimum time of sowing the crops
- Use of pest-resistant varieties
- Crop rotation and multiple cropping
- Cultural practices
Control of insect and pests can be done in following methods:
By using natural insecticides Like neem, nicotine, pyrethrum, etc.
By using chemical pesticides that kill insect, weed, rodents, etc specifically.
- insecticides - For killing the insects.
- weedicides - For killing the weeds.
- rodenticides - For killing rats.
- fungicides - For killing the fungi.