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Nerine peach. © INRA, MONET René

Pathogen-related harvest losses: analysis and quantification

Updated on 09/12/2016
Published on 01/12/2016

It is not easy to quantify pathogen-related harvest losses, particularly when damage affects the vegetative parts of plants and recurs in subsequent years.  Several projects have contributed to modelling these losses and thus enable an evaluation of the efficacy of the different solutions proposed.

Three projects carried out from 2012 to 2015 analysed pathogen-related losses in several exemplary perennial plants: peach, mango, coffee and vine. This work generated models that could quantify harvest losses and evaluate the efficacy of certain practices: fertilisation, date of harvest, production of smaller, less susceptible fruits, pruning and thinning of vines, etc.

These models can distinguish pests that directly attack the fruits from those which attack the vegetative parts of the plant, in which case the damage may be spread over several years.

These projects were supported by an international network for the study of wheat health which modelled the evolution of pathogen risks in the future, taking account of expected changes to the climate and farming practices.  This work has laid the foundations for strategic research on wheat health, the reference annual crop in France and the food cereal that occupies the largest area of cultivated land in the world.

For more information

These projects were carried out in the context of the DAMAGE programme, one of the actions under the SMaCH metaprogramme (Sustainable Management of Crop Health).