Roguing with Replacement in Perennial Crops: Conditions for Successful Disease Management
Sisterson, M. S., and Stenger, D. C. 2013. Roguing with replacement in perennial crops: Conditions for successful disease management. Phytopathology 103:117-128. Replacement of diseased plants with healthy plants is commonly used to manage spread of plant pathogens in perennial cropping systems. This strategy has two potential benefits. First, removing infected plants may slow pathogen spread by eliminating inoculum sources. Second, replacing infected plants with uninfected plants may offset yield losses due to disease. The extent to which these benefits are realized depends on multiple factors. In this study, sensitivity analyses of two spatially explicit simulation models were used to evaluate how assumptions concerning implementation of a plant replacement program and pathogen spread interact to affect disease suppression. In conjunction, effects of assumptions concerning yield loss associated with disease and rates of plant maturity on yields were simultaneously evaluated. The first model was used to evaluate effects of plant replacement on pathogen spread and yield on a single farm, consisting of a perennial crop monoculture. The second model evaluated effects of plant replacement on pathogen spread and yield in a 100 farm crop growing region, with all farms maintaining a monoculture of the same perennial crop. Results indicated that efficient replacement of infected plants combined with a high degree of compliance among farms effectively slowed pathogen spread, resulting in replacement of few plants and high yields. In contrast, inefficient replacement of infected plants or limited compliance among farms failed to slow pathogen spread, resulting in replacement of large numbers of plants (on farms practicing replacement) with little yield benefit. Replacement of infected plants always increased yields relative to simulations without plant replacement provided that infected plants produced no useable yield. However, if infected plants produced useable yields, inefficient removal of infected plants resulted in lower yields relative to simulations without plant replacement for perennial crops with long maturation periods in some cases.