Fungi cause the majority of plant diseases. The chemicals which kill or inhibit fungi are called fungicides.
Fungicides protect seeds from decay and tender seedlings from damping-off, seedling blights, and smuts.
Fungicide sprays and dust ward off the following diseases, such as:
- Leaf spots
- Smuts and many others
Soil applications of fungicides control specific crown, stem, tuber, and root rots.
Without these disease-fighting chemicals, we could not enjoy our abundant food supply, beautiful flowers, and other disease-free plants.
Common Fungicides Used
Common fungicides such as:
- Copper, and others.
Always follow the directions on the label.
Use the same care you follow in handling household bleach, ammonia, cleaning fluids, or others commonly found around the home.
These precautions include:
1. Keep fungicides or other pesticides in a locked, orderly-kept cabinet inaccessible to children, irresponsible people, or pets. Promptly destroy old containers.
2. Never use or store unlabeled chemicals or those not in their original containers. Keep the package closed except when preparing the mix.
3. Avoid inhaling dust, mists, or vapors of fungicides or other pesticides—spray or dust with the wind, and not against it.
4. Avoid spilling on shoes or other clothing. Immediately flush with water any body area contacted and remove contaminated clothing and shoes.
5. Do not eat or smoke while using pesticides.
6. Wash hands and face with soap and water before eating or smoking.
7. Pour out all unused solutions so that they will soak into the soil at least several feet away from food plants.
8. Cover birdbaths, pet dishes, and fish pools when spraying or dusting.
9. Read and understand the package label before you buy. Then, reread the instructions before using them.
Fungicides, like other pesticides, should be used according to package directions, on the crops specified, in the amounts prescribed, and at times specified.
Observe other precautions listed, especially regarding safe handling and frequency of application.
Fungicides And Pesticides Are Necessary
Together with other pesticides, Fungicides ensure that we will continue to eat well. Farmers could not exist without them.
Practically all food products—vegetable and animal alike—are dusted, sprayed, rubbed, or dipped with a pesticide at some time before going to market.
We live longer, are taller, healthier, heavier (the men, that is!), and stronger today than at any time in history.
Records in athletic events which can be measured with a stopwatch or tape measure (track and field or swimming) are being completely remade every few years.
Yet there is a small vocal minority in our country who would have you believe pesticides are poisoning us through our food, shortening our lives, and leading to disease.
Doctors, public health officials, and others responsible for our health and safety will tell you that the opposite is true.
Pesticide manufacturers, Food and Drug Administration officials, plus the farmers and growers who produce our food supply—working with and through the toughest set of public health laws and regulations of any nation in the world—are supplying us with the most healthful food we have ever enjoyed.
We are not sure which side is correct. However, use any chemical with caution and use as little as possible to protect yourself and the environment.
Spending Millions Of Dollars
It costs a pesticide manufacturer millions of dollars and 5 to 10 years of research to introduce a new chemical to American agriculture.
Many hundreds of thousands of dollars are consumed in exhaustive feeding tests over several years with laboratory animals, a battery of allergy tests, plus the development of micro-analytical chemical tests, which may pick out one part of a candidate chemical in 10 million.
For comparison, this is roughly the thickness of a piece of Scotch tape compared to the height of the Empire State building.