|Parke, Jennifer -|
Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: April 24, 2011
Publication Date: August 10, 2012
Citation: Parke, J.L., Grunwald, N.J. 2012. A systems approach for management of pests and pathogens of nursery crops. Plant Disease. 96(9):1236-1244. Technical Abstract: Horticultural nurseries are heterogeneous and spatially complex agricultural systems, which present formidable challenges to management of diseases and pests. Moreover, nursery plants shipped interstate and internationally can serve as important vectors for pathogens and pests that threaten both agriculture and forestry. Current regulatory strategies to prevent this movement of pathogens and pests with nursery plants are based on visual inspections of plants just before shipping, a process that is inherently flawed, costly, and ineffective. Here we propose the application of a systems approach for horticultural nurseries modeled after the HACCP approach widely used in the food processing industry. We evaluated aspects of the systems approach to analyze critical control points for plant contamination by Phytophthora species and then implemented management practices targeting specific critical control points. The systems approach for analyzing and correcting unsafe practices offers a potential alternative strategy for preventing plant contamination that could be broadly applied to many pests and pathogens. One of the hallmarks of this approach is its flexibility, including the ability to improve and adapt the approaches as new technologies are developed or improved and to provide the grower with management options.