A Crop and Environmental Sciences Division Seminar
By Adam Sparks
Plant disease management specialist
1:15 to 2:15 p.m., Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Room A, D.L. Umali Laboratory, IRRI
Crop losses to pests and diseases are often cited as yield limiting factors in rice production. In 2006, Orke, estimated that global rice yields were reduced by 12% due to diseases including fungi, bacteria and viruses from 2001-2003. With management strategies including resistance, cultural practices and chemical control we saved about 3% of rice yields that could potentially have been lost to diseases. A 2011 report from the IRRI Center Commissioned External Review on programs in Plant Pathology and Entomology suggested that while IRRI had placed much emphasis on “put science in the seed”, i.e., genetics and breeding, the significant gains made by IRRI would not have been possible without concurrent research efforts in “crop management”. Integrated crop management approaches have been instrumental in the past fifty years for IRRI’s success and as we look forward to the future we must to continue building on these successful interactions to develop new approaches to deal with new and old crop health issues.
The changes that are occurring in rice production systems as intensification occurs, and issues associated with water scarcity and an increasing human population, do not only affect the rice plant itself causing stresses or altering the desirable characteristic, but they in turn bring about changes in the pests and diseases that affect the rice crop health. In order for IRRI to effectively address these challenges we must continue working together to develop new integrated approaches. In this seminar, I will present the research workplan that I have proposed for the next five years in response to these issues as related to plant disease management.