Imara: Bred for Resilience

What role can disease resistant varieties play in my IPM programme?

How often do you consider your choice of crop as part of your integrated pest and disease management strategy?

We often hear the mantra ‘start healthy, stay healthy’. Choosing plant species and varieties known to be resilient to certain pests and diseases could be one of the best ways to ‘start healthy’. I think growing varieties bred for disease tolerance or resistance is going to become increasingly important alongside your quarantine measures, nursery hygiene and environmental control as a means of reducing the pressure on biological or chemical interventions.

That’s something that was brought home to those growing protected ornamentals a few years back with the arrival of strains of impatiens downy mildew that had evolved resistance to commonly used fungicides. The industry had to make radical changes to impatiens production while some growers pulled out of the crop altogether for a while.

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