China will face higher occurrence of major diseases in 2018 01-12-2018

According to the research by market intelligence firm CCM, the major diseases on Chinese fields will likely occur even more heavily than they did in 2017. The main reasons for this forecast can be found in the planned crops distribution, the planting system, overwintering population, and the predicted climate trend for 2018.


In China, the overall occurrence of pests and diseases on crops used to be in a severe situation during the last decade. The rising trend of pests and diseases may have slowed down in recent years, but the situation remains serious.

According to the forecast, the pest and disease occurrence in 2018 is expected to be light to moderate, while wheat pests and diseases will experience a more significant occurrence, stated to be moderate to heavy in the coming year.

Based on this forecast, some pesticide varieties are going to witness a significant growth in demand, with 30% or even more growth rates to counter the increasing pests and diseases in the country.

Regarding wheat diseases, especially head blight will have a high possibility to show a heavy occurrence or even extreme occurrence, mostly in the Anhui and Jiangsu provinces. Other diseases that are likely to occur in 2018, destroying parts of wheat farming in the country will be wheat take-all, basal stem rot, root rot, leaf blight, and snow mould.


China’s major rice diseases, including sheath blight, rice rust, false smut, and rice virus diseases are likely to occur heavily on China’s farms 2018. Sheath blight will mostly appear along the Yangtze River, while rice rust is expected especially in Southwest China.

According to the disease forecast, especially corn diseases will occur much heavier than it has been the case for 2017. The main diseases that are expected to negatively impact the corn yield are northern leaf blight, southern leaf blight, southern rust, and brown spot. Especially the Huanghuai Region in China will be affected by corn diseases in 2018. Notably, breeds which are resistant to stalk and ear rot will be in desperate demand because these diseases will not only reduce yields but also degrade corn seed quality due to high mycotoxins content in corn cubs. 

The main diseases for Chinese potatoes, namely late blight, is expected to occur at a moderate rate in 2018, targeting the areas of eastern Southwest China as well as northern Northeast.

In 2017, many diseases and pests occurred slightly less than in 2016, according to official Chinese crop protection agencies. The common diseases of corn have occurred roughly the same in both years, but diseases on wheat showed reduced appearance in 2017. China's rice planting area witnessed a moderate occurrence of pests and diseases.

China's main diseases and pests by crop in 2018

Source: CCM

 Increasing resistance of insects

A big problem with increasing pest and disease occurrence in China is the increasing resistance of insects towards pesticides. In the case of continuous application of one insecticide, individuals with weak resistance are killed each time, but the ones with strong resistance survive. After all, resistance passes down through generations, resulting in higher resistance over time.

The development of pesticide resistance is mainly related to the times one pesticide is used or the quantity and concentration of pesticides. Usually, large quantities of pesticides are used on vegetables with higher frequency, leading to rapid resistance of pests on vegetables. Furthermore, pests can reproduce many generations in a year. They are less likely to migrate and have fewer options for host plants. Hence, long-term use of one pesticide is in favour of forming a resistance.

Multiple methods can be used to prevent pesticide resistance in terms of usage of pesticides, such as the substitution of old pesticides for new ones. When pests develop resistance to a certain kind of insecticide, another kind of pesticide with different mechanism can be used to eliminate the pests' resistance to the original pesticide. Experimental results show that alternate use of pesticides with different mechanism can significantly delay resistance and improve the effect of control. 

Rational use of mixed pesticides can improve the efficiency of control and delay resistance. What's more, use of mixed pesticides, of which against different pests respectively, can also reduce the frequency of usage and thus cut down labour costs.

Integrated prevention and control measures such as agricultural control and biological control can reduce the use of chemical pesticides and prevent the development of pesticide resistance.

About the article

The information for this article comes from market intelligence firm CCM, China’s leading research firm in the fields of agriculture, chemicals, food and feed.

Get premium insights into China’s crop protection market with CCM’s monthly crop protection newsletter. The publication analyses China’s market trends, company dynamics, politic changes, import and export trends, and any other newsworthy stories.

You can also get a 7 day free trial at CCM’s Online Platform to enable access to the whole market research on China’s crop protection market for the last 17 years, including additional functions like price forecasting, company database, and news aggregator.

Join the discussion in our LinkedIn group for China's agricultural market or our Facebook group, if you prefer.

In any case, follow us on Twitter: @CCM_Kcomber

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Next Press