There is an increased tendency amongst growers to use plant protection chemicals for control of plant diseases and harmful pests. It is also equally important to understand that nutrient deficiencies could also be a precursor to impending infection in plants. It is a known fact that at the first incidence of attack by diseases or pests, the plant starts producing specific chemicals to counter the pathogen attack.. These chemicals are called secondary metabolites and micronutrients like Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Copper and Boron are very important during this process. Any deficiency of these nutrients is likely to reduce the plant response to the pathogen and thus increase the disease severity. Calcium is responsible for a stronger structure of cells, hence adequate supply of Calcium would strengthen the plant cells and prevent the pathogens from entering and multiplying within the cells. The role of Phosphorus and Potassium against fungal attack in plants is very well documented. Phosphorus elicits SAR(systemic acquired resistance) within the plant, while Potassium increases the thickness of the epidermal tissues.
BRIX levels in leaves is a good indicator of balance of nutrients in the plant. Low BRIX indicates lower soluble salts and thus lower mineral concentration in the leaves. Plants with lower leaf BRIX are more susceptible to diseases and pests alike. Use of foliar spray of Basfoliar Kelp O SL with Fetrilon Combi-2 is an excellent way to improve the BRIX values in plant leaves. This formula when used at biweekly intervals ensures healthy TSS in plants, increasing disease resistance.
IN short, balanced nutrition, use of seaweed extract with a chelated micronutrient mixture complemented with microbial consortia can boost plant defenses against disease attacks.