Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Use Weather Forecasts To Fight Disease

Date:
April 30, 2001
Source:
American Phytopathological Society
Summary:
Each year plant disease epidemics cost growers billions of dollars and affect both the quantity and quality of food products available to consumers. Traditional disease management techniques are often costly and may be only partially effective. Fortunately scientists are discovering that by following weather patterns they can significantly reduce both the number and severity of certain types of disease outbreaks.

St. Paul, MN (April 25, 2001)-- Each year plant disease epidemics cost growers billions of dollars and affect both the quantity and quality of food products available to consumers. Traditional disease management techniques are often costly and may be only partially effective. Fortunately scientists are discovering that by following weather patterns they can significantly reduce both the number and severity of certain types of disease outbreaks.

When Charles Main became a plant disease researcher 35 years ago he had no idea his interest would also lead him into the field of meteorology. But for the past five years, he and meteorologist Thomas Keever, at The North American Plant Disease Forecast Center (NAPDFC) located at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, have been tracking the presence and possible future spread of certain types of airborne diseases that threaten growers’ crops.

Main and his colleagues, Jerry Davis and Gerald Holmes, have focused their work on two common fungal diseases: tobacco blue mold and cucurbit downy mildew. The impact of these two diseases can become significant in years when conditions favor their development. States Main, “Fungal plant diseases are very weather sensitive. In cool, wet, overcast weather they can develop rapidly and spread easily by releasing thousands of spores into the air. The spores are then carried by wind currents and eventually settle on healthy plants, infecting them as well.”

When an outbreak of either one of these diseases is reported, Main and his colleagues mark the site of the infection on the NAPDFC’s website map. After careful analysis of the weather conditions at the site of the outbreak and in the surrounding areas, the meteorologist at the Center posts a disease forecast on the Center’s Internet site that includes the likelihood of disease development and possible areas of new outbreaks. Growers who routinely monitor the website are then able to take the necessary measures to protect their crops from infection.

“Because we warn them ahead of time, before their crops become infected, growers end up having to use far fewer chemicals and have significantly less crop loss,” states Main. “There are other plant diseases for which this system would be helpful and I suspect that we’ll be seeing this type of disease forecasting and prevention used more often in the future.”

Using weather forecasts to predict the spread of fungal diseases is the subject of this month’s feature story on the APS website. Visit it at www.apsnet.org for more information. The American Phytopathological Society (APS) is a non-profit, professional scientific organization dedicated to the study and control of plant diseases, with 5,000 members worldwide.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Phytopathological Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Phytopathological Society. "Scientists Use Weather Forecasts To Fight Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010427071603.htm>.
American Phytopathological Society. (2001, April 30). Scientists Use Weather Forecasts To Fight Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010427071603.htm
American Phytopathological Society. "Scientists Use Weather Forecasts To Fight Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/04/010427071603.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Big waves in parts of the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented, mainly because they used to be covered in ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins