Holistic management of foliar blight disease of wheat and barley
84Wheat and barley, the earliest known commercial grains are grown throughout the world and has importance since Biblical and Indus Valley Civilization. They contribute about one-third of the world’s total grain production. Wheat provides nourishment for humans as major source of carbohydrate. Beside the staple food, barley also contains many medicinal properties. However, the production and productivity of both the crops particularly in South East Asia remains almost stagnant for the last five years. As very little scope for increasing the area under wheat and barley cultivation due to growing urbanization, crop diversification, dwindling water resources, micronutrient deficiencies and soil health deterioration, the genetic improvement, and crop management are only options to break the yield barrier. There are numerous foliar blights either of seed borne and/or soil borne diseases reported on wheat and barley. Among them, spot blotch (Bipolaris sorokiniana), Alter- naria blight (Alternaria triticina) and tan spot (Pyrenophora tritici- repentis) are recorded in most wheat growing areas of South East Asia where warm and humid climate persist. It takes a heavy toll by reduction of annual yields by 20% in the farmers’ fields. The foliar blight in barley includes spot blotch (Bipolaris sorokiniana), net blotch (Helminthosporium teres), and speckled blotch (Septoria passerinii) diseases. Considering the importance of the crops in the economy of developing countries, the disease management by integrated way has been highlighted and reviewed.