SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT IN PLANTATION CROPS: EMPHASIS ON COFFEE RUST
A BERGAMIN FILHO1, L AMORIM1, L ZAMBOLIM2 and FXR VALE2
1ESALQ-Departamento de Fitopatologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Piracicaba 13418-900, Brazil; 2Departamento de Fitopatologia, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa 36570-000, Brazil
Background and objectives
Sustainable agriculture is concerned with the ability of agricultural systems to remain productive in the long run at socially acceptable economic and environmental costs. Sustainable agriculture can be defined in a strict sense or in a pragmatic sense. The first is based on the concept of total social factor productivity (TSFP), and has an absolute meaning but a difficult operational definition. The second allows for agroecosystems with different degrees of sustainability and considers systems more sustainable, given similar inputs and outputs, that (i) use fewer non-renewable inputs and (ii) use fewer external renewable inputs. It is more reasonable, therefore, to reduce the number and impact of unsustainable actions rather than to aim for a theoretical absolute state called sustainability.
The sustainability of coffee rust (Hemileia vastatrix) and Coffea arabica management in Brazil will be analysed in this paper based on epidemiological data collected in six regions and on three cultivars during two consecutive years, and on the actual situation of rust control in Brazil. Some of the conclusions can be extended to other tropical pathosystems.
Results and conclusions
A new strategy to manage coffee rust was developed recently and is based on the application once a year of a mixture of systemic fungicide (triadimenol or cyproconazole) + systemic insecticide (disulfoton) to the soil. Control of rust and of the leaf miner Perileucoptera coffeella is adequate, and there is less harm to the environment. This strategy is especially recommended for areas with irregular topography.
From the epidemiological characteristics of coffee rust and other diseases of tropical plantation crops (e.g. South American leaf blight of rubber trees caused by Microcyclus ulei) we consider the reduction initial inoculum to have a more important role than previously accepted.