Food For Thought: Black Rot – Let’s Appreciate Our Veggies

by Malia Musso, Accounting major

The Facts:

Brassica is a family classification of vegetables that includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts. Root vegetables are also included in this classification. These vegetables are prone to a plant disease called black rot disease.

According to the Australian Department of Agriculture and Food, a plant’s leaves that have been affected with black rot will appear brownish-yellowish in color, especially around the edges. The disease rots along the outer rims of the leaves creating dips in the edges where the rot occurs, usually in a V-shape. As the veins of the plant are affected, they become black.

The Department of Agriculture also notes that black rot is spread through contact. When the rot comes into contact with an opening on the plant, the plant becomes infected. These plant openings, holes, or tears in the plant’s leaves that leave it vulnerable to the disease are often caused by insects or mechanical damage. However, they are sometimes naturally occurring.

The Issue . . . & Part of a Solution:

Black rot is spread through contact that can occur from irrigation, water contact on different plants, and during transportation of the plants and seeds, notes Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. It is very hard to control once it has spread, so the emphasis on controlling this disease must lie in initial prevention.

I am fascinated by plant disease prevention because it is almost always the best method to controlling plant diseases. If farmers and growers could master prevention measures, plant disease losses could be minimized. The process of procuring, transporting, planting, and raising crops would have to be so meticulously planned and every step monitored and controlled, but of course, this is not always a sustainable (or realistic) practice. However, honing in on the initial steps of the growing process can prove to be greatly effective. I think that if more people, farmers or not, were educated on the preventative measures and careful planning that it takes to produce foods, there would be a greater appreciation for what we have and are able to produce. Just some food for thought the next time you consume an uninfected brassica at dinnertime . . .

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This blog post was an assignment for Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

Sources

https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/broccoli/diseases-vegetable-brassicas

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/02-025.htm#avoid

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This blog post was an assignment for Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

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