Crop protection is a challenge for most tree nut, fruit, and vegetable farmers. Attacks by pests, fungal and bacterial diseases, depleted soil, and harsh climatic conditions cause massive damage to crops in different parts of the country causing significant losses for farmers. There are various strategies you should implement to ensure optimum crop protection.
Develop a regular monitoring weed, pest, and disease monitoring program
To achieve sustainable crop production, it’s important to invest in crop monitoring. It helps growers to detect pests and possible disease development, understand the performance of their crops, and helps them create resilient farming systems. Crop monitoring minimizes crop protection costs which can arise when plants are heavily infested by pests or attacked by diseases. In fruit production, it’s important to develop a centralized and independent monitoring system to help growers devise successful pest, disease, and weed control strategies.
Manage pests and diseases on time
Pests and diseases can adversely affect crop performance and overall production. At times, they can destroy the entire produce fruits causing losses to the farmer.
- Pests and diseases in fruit trees can be controlled in various ways such as:
- Planting high-quality varieties that are resistant to various pests and diseases
- Defending young plants against pest and disease pressures
- Use chemical control, especially in severe cases to control pests and disease development. However, pesticides and fungicides should be applied at controlled levels. For instance, using copper-based pesticides extensively can cause damage to newly emerged leaves of pear, plum, and apple trees.
- Embrace cultural pest control
- Introduce beneficial insects such as ladybugs to minimize the populations of pests such as aphids, mites, and scales.
Managing weather risks
Crops are always susceptible to weather risks and unpredictable climatic conditions. Phenomena such as hail, drought, floods, and extreme temperatures can cause serious crop damage, especially in the early, flowering, and fruit development stages. Before venturing into fruit farming, it’s important to understand the weather patterns in your region and to understand the ecological requirements of the tree you are planning to grow. Fruit trees such as citrus, avocado, and macadamia can tolerate harsh climatic conditions while strawberries, grapes, and watermelon are easily affected. Understanding your climate will help you plant crops that are suitable for your region and to prepare the field for harsh weather conditions.
Weeds deprive the grown fruit trees, competing with them for nutrients and water. Besides, some weeds carry diseases while others act as hosts for pests such as Tuta absoluta. Each year, farmers lose a significant percentage of their harvests because of weeds, pests, and diseases. They can be controlled in various ways such as:
- Planting cover crops such as legumes
- Chemical control using herbicides
- Biological and agrotechnical control
Stay ahead in Fruit farming with Oxfarm Ltd solutions
Whether you are a novice organic fruit grower seeking crop protection strategies or an established convectional farmer looking to adapt to the changing climate and rising water shortages, Oxfarm has different solutions to help your crops flourish. Apart from drip irrigation systems and high-quality seedlings, Oxfarm also provides enticing packages to help you establish your commercial orchard and helps you devise effective pest, disease, and farm management strategies. As a way of helping farmers enjoy the productivity and profitability of fruit farming, Oxfarm provides an extensive selection of crop protection solutions that farmers can use in their orchards.