Cultural Approaches to Managing Plant Pathogens
Ever since neolithic farmers first tilled the soils and planted crops, people have used cultural practices to manage plant health. Although diseases and their causes as we know them were not recognized until the mid 1800s, these practices impacted plant pathogens. The ancient Egyptians recognized the benefits of rotation and fallow. The Incas of Peru instituted farming systems that incorporated complex rotations of potatoes, grains, and vegetables with burning, manuring, fallowing, and other practices. Eradication of barberry to control stem rust of wheat is said to have been first instigated by farmers in 1660 in Rouen, France. Laws were enacted in Connecticut in 1729, Massachusetts in 1755, and Rhode Island in 1766 for barberry eradication [36,50].