Biosecurity is important in horticulture crops too!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Biosecurity, often thought of as a livestock issue, is important in horticulture crops too.  The old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is very true for horticulture biosecurity risks, especially since many issues don't have viable solutions.  Equipment can carry soil-borne pests like clubroot, Verticillium wilt, and nematodes from field to field.  The more soil that gets transported between sites, the higher the risk of infection from these soil-borne pests.  Diseases such as downy mildew, late blight, and angular leaf spot can be inadvertently carried on clothes, boots, and gloves.  Difficult to control weeds such as yellow nutsedge can also be carried from field to field on equipment.

Clubroot can be transmitted on equipment, boots, and eroding soil
Important biosecurity management steps are first to make sure that these diseases and pests don't come on to the farm.  If you know you already have problem areas, takes steps to manage and contain them so that it doesn't spread to the rest of your fields.  Manage your culls and plant certified disease-free seeds and root stock.

To read more about biosecurity risks and how to manage them, check out Perennia's Horticulture Biosecurity Fact Sheet.