Europe Needs to Plan for Increased Need for Fungicides Due to Climate Change

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The climate is changing in Europe with increasing temperatures predicted. Higher temperatures create improved conditions for the growth of fungi and infection of crops. More infection events will create the need for more fungicide use. Will European policymakers be ready?

“Here, we estimated the evolution of potential infection events of fungal pathogens of wheat, rice, and grape in Europe. …Our results show an overall increase in the number of infection events, with differences among the pathogens, and showing complex geographical patterns. For wheat, Puccinia recondite, or brown rust, is forecasted to increase +20-100% its pressure on the crop. Puccinia striiformis, or yellow rust, will increase 5-20% in the cold areas. Rice pathogens Pyricularia oryzae, or blast disease, and Bipolaris oryzae, or brown spot, will be favored all European rice districts, with the most critical situation in Northern Italy (+100%). For grape, Plasmopara viticola, or downy mildew, will increase +5-20% throughout Europe. …Our findings represents the first attempt to provide extensive estimates on disease pressure on crops under climate change, providing information on possible future challenges European farmers will face in the coming years.

On the whole, moving from the 2030 to the 2050 time frame, an increase in the number of potential infection events is expected. …Policy makers can use the outcomes of this study to be aware of possible future challenges to face when planning regional or local policies in terms of disease pressure and consequently of chemical control.”

Authors: Bregaglio, S., et al.
Affiliation: University of Milan.
Title: Fungal infections of rice, wheat, and grape in Europe in 2030-2050.
Source: Agron. Sustain. Dev. 2013. 33:767-776.

 

 

 

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