In order to learn more about crop diseases our project could impact, we were given the chance to visit some local cultivations. This experience was useful to get to know agricultors, their main worries and problems, alfalfa’s life cycle and importance and in some cases, doing some sampling.
We had the opportunity to visit more than 112 Ha of cultivations around our state, in the towns of Chihuahua, Cuauhtémoc, Meoqui and Rosales.
On June 17 we visited Sergio Rodriguez Varela in order to establish contact with agricultors. Sergio is president of a biofertilizer producing enterprise. He had biotechnology knowledge and told us about specific crops that are affected by diverse organisms. This crops are treated with a wide range of products that make its consumption not recommendable. He proceeded then to tell us about Biologic Preventive Management of the cultivations. He also gave us advice on our project, and spoke to us about a pathogenic bacteria that damages cultivations: Erwinia.
On June 23 we visited Álvaro Cerros, an independent alfalfa cultivator. We interviewed him, and then he told us about the fragility of the cultivation, because of its lack of leaves. He told us about “pudrición texana”, animals (such as worms or insects) that damage the crop and explained to us the life cycle of alfalfa specifically.
We then visited Adrián Ortega, a local producer that also knew about biotechnology, and actually uses bacteria for biological control. He told us he is familiar with our interest organism: R. solani. He also explained that fungus spread easily because of humidity, by soil and water. He has applied organisms as biologic control, such as wasp liberation to erradicate leipdopters. He supports the development of agricultural mexican products. He agrees with the use of fertilizers as long as they don’t affect the ecosystem equilibrium. We could do sampling in both visits.
On June 24 we visited Mr. Franco’s cultivation. He told us about “pudrición texana” and “cuscuta”. He told us he uses herbicides and pesticides, because this harmful organisms can cause the crop’s loss. However, the use of this kind of products could kill a lot of local fauna; which is why he recommends to be careful with its use. We also did sampling this time.