Integrated disease and nutrient management in intensive rice production systems in Vietnam
The project involves a multidisciplinary systems approach to improve rice production and quality in the Mekong River Delta of Vietnam. The work is arranged in seven different work packages (WPs). WP1 to WP5 each includes a full educational program in Denmark for 5 Vietnamese Ph.D. students. Briefly, WP1 deals with studies of the rice pathogen Rhizoctonia solani population dynamics to create a basis for understanding of this difficult-to-control pathogen. This work includes development of methods to detect the pathogen in the field and is fundamental to understand disease development and management in the field. WP2 and WP3 deal with alternative strategies for disease control of the R. solani fungus, i.e. biological control using antagonistic bacteria (WP2) and induced resistance using plant extracts (WP3); the research includes isolation and identification of biological control agents, their testing, investigations of their mode of action and verification and optimization of their efficacy by field tests. WP4 examines the soil microbial processes leading to undesirable nutrient (primarily N) loss in crop rotations and serves to identify and evaluate soil fertility and soil health determinants that can be linked to differences in rice yields. WP5 examines the impact of seed-borne fungal diseases on rice yield as part of an integrated seed-quality control strategy, with special emphasis on the pathogenic fungus Fusarium moniliforme. WP6 deals with field integration of the research results obtained in WP 1-5 and is performed in newly established experimental, farmer´s field plots to create a means for field-scale documentation and optimization of ICM strategies. Based on these results obtained in the field and combined with experience from other programs, the final WP7 aims at disseminating the knowledge and results to extension service and subsequently to farmers to secure local ownership and usage of the project results.