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Plant Protection Research

1. Control techniques for pests and diseases

(1) Investigation of Taro Diseases at Seedling Stage and Development of Disease Management Strategy

Taros (Colocasia esculenta) in central Taiwan are frequently infected by soft rot disease (Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum) and phytophthora leaf spot disease (Phytophthora colocasiae) in recent years. Rate of missing plants caused by plant diseases may reach 50% in severely infected taro field. Use of 81.3% Kasugamycin hydrochloride hydrate + copper oxychloride WP diluted 1000-fold, soaked 10 min for taro seedling treatment decreased the diseases and increased the yields of 16.2%.

(2) Control of Grape Ripe Rot Disease: Fungicide Treatments and Pre-bagging Techniques

Fungicide treatments and pre-bagging techniques for management of grape ripe rot disease was developed in our station. The technique includes spray of fungicides on grape clusters and tightly bagged thirty days after flowering. The disease incidence in grape yards, usage of fungicides and costs drastically decreased. The technique has been extended more than 300 ha in major grape-producing areas.

(3) Control of Grape Downy Mildew with Phosphorous Acid

Application of phosphorous acid on grape plants prevents grape downy mildew. Continuous use of phosphorous acid before rainy season minimizes the downy mildew disease. The benefits are (1) disease prevention (2) decrease pesticides usage (3) decrease costs (4) environment friendly. The technique has been extended more than 800 ha.


2. Integrated pests and diseases management

(1) Virus Free Ma-Bamboo Seedling Production Technique

Ma-bamboo industry in Taiwan is influenced by Bamboo mosaic virus (BaMV). “Production technique of virus-free Ma-bamboo” was developed by Taichung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station in order to resolve virus infection of bamboo. Selection of healthy bamboo through highly specific virus detection technique, virus-free parental bamboo bed and virus-free bamboo propagation bed can be created. Combined with air layering propagation methods, virus-free Ma-bamboo propagation rate reached 90%. The technique has been transferred to Taichung district farmers' association for virus-free Ma-bamboo production. Renew of diseased bamboo with virus-free bamboo increases the 20% yield and enhance the Ma-bamboo shoot quality.

(2) Establishment of healthy production system of green peas

To establish healthy production system, insect sex pheromones and biocontrol agents were implemented for controlling pests of Lepidoptera and soil-borne diseases. Extension of safety usage of pesticides cooperated with Fuxing Township Farmers’ Association in Changhua County since 2011 further demonstrated the production system. First “Good Agriculutral Practice” certificated production and marketing group focused on pea production was established. Additional to creeping cultivation, which was easily affected by heavy rains, upright cultivation was tested. Upright cultivation increased survival rate and ventilation which The results enhanced pest control efficacy, advanced 10 days for flowering and fruiting, decrease 20% pest numbers, and increase 54% yield (3800 kg/ha).

(3) No-residue Cucumber Health Management in Greenhouses

No-residue cucumber health management has 3 stages: (1) Before planting: Decrease the density of pathogens and pests surviving in greenhouses by sterilizing greenhouse before transplantation. (2) From transplantation to the blooming period: Use of traditional pesticides and non- traditional pesticides to decrease the opportunity of pathogens and pests establishment. (3) From the blooming period to the harvest period: use only non-traditional pesticides to minimize pesticide residues and effectively control diseases and pests. The methods decreased pesticide usage and the cost. The cucumbers produced do not have detectable pesticide residues.