Volume 10 Part 2 Article 23
Title: Monitoring of ‘Disease’ and ‘Pest’ Levels in the Mushroom Crop as a Guide to the Application of Control Measures
Author: R.G. Steane
The unnecessary use of chemical control measures, known generically as pesticides, for protection of the mushroom crop against fungal “diseases” and insect “pests” is to be avoided for several reasons, which may be categorised as follows:
1) Economics – If control is not needed, money spent on the application of such measures is merely wasted.
2) Phytotoxicity- In certain cases, pesticides can reduce crop yields, which can only be justified by a consideration of the necessity of using these compounds.
3) Tolerance – Excessive or ill-advised use of highly specific pesticidescan favour the selection of resistant strains of “diseases” and “pests”.
4) Safety – Unjustified routine use of these often highly toxic substances can lead to slackening of normal handling precautions – “familiarity breeds contempt”.
On the other hand, if control measures are warranted, it is clearly important that these should be put into action as soon as the situation becomes apparent. This is in order to prevent the spread of “diseases” or “pests” from crop to crop, and if possible to enable corrective action to betaken in respect of individual crops.
This paper deals with problems encountered by the author in mushroom growing with Raymond Thompson at Church Farm, East Wittering, Sussex, England. “Diseases” and “pests” will be dealt with separately.Please login to download the PDF for this proceeding.