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Exclusion — keep pathogens (things that cause disease), vectors (things that spread disease) and infected plants out of disease-free areas.
Eradication — destroy a disease organism after it has become established. You can do this by destruction of infected plants, disinfection of storage bins, containers and equipment, and/or soil disinfection by fumigation, pasteurization, solarization or drenching.
Protection – use a physical barrier such as a row cover. You can also use chemical applications available to prevent a disease from becoming established.
Resistance — plant resistant varieties.
Therapy – use chemicals that are systemic in the plant.
Avoidance – use good cultural practices such as planting date selection, seedbed preparation and water management to avoid disease. Poorly drained soils, shade and other factors can increase the susceptibility of plants to disease. Provide adequate irrigation, fertilization and space for each plant. Handle plants carefully to prevent injury, as the injury may later be the access point for a disease.
- Use clean seed and vegetative propagating material. Some disease-causing organisms are seed-borne and others are associated with seeds.
- Select cultivars that are resistant or tolerant to pathogens.
- Destroy or remove infected crop residues, culled fruits or prunings. Crop residues, which may be reservoirs of disease organisms, can be burned, composted, buried or shredded.
- Rotate crops to avoid or reduce the build-up of disease organisms in a field. Note that some plants have shown to have a suppressive effect on diseases.
- Provide plants with good nutrition. A properly nourished plant can withstand or tolerate the attack of plant pathogens better than a stressed plant.
- Avoid injuring or bruising plants because many pathogens can enter a plant through an injury or wound.
- Use proper spacing to allow air movement between plants and reduce the amount of time that leaves are wet.
- Schedule timing and duration of irrigation to satisfy the crop requirements without over-watering. Too much water can be as detrimental as not enough.
- Select the appropriate control method — biocontrol (using microorganisms) or chemicals (fungicides, bactericides, fumigants and nematicides).