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 September 23, 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 September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

Hundreds of Thousands Hit NYC Streets to Protest Climate Change

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) Celebrities, political leaders and the masses rallied in New York and across the globe demanding urgent action on climate change, with organizers saying 600,000 people hit the streets. Duration: 01:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

French FM Urges 'powerful' Response to Global Warming

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday warned about the potential "catastrophe" if global warming was not dealt with in a "powerful" way. Duration: 01:08 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ongoing Drought, Fighting Put Somalia at Risk of Famine

Ongoing Drought, Fighting Put Somalia at Risk of Famine

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) After a year of poor rains and heavy fighting Somalia is again at risk of famine, just three years after food shortages killed 260,000 people. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Rockefeller Oil Heirs Switching To Clean Energy

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) The Rockefellers — heirs to an oil fortune that made the family name a symbol of American wealth — are switching from fossil fuels to clean energy. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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