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Hungry Planet: Stories of Plant Diseases

Chapter Seven. Student Resources

Roles People Play: Epidemics and Their Management

Plant disease epidemics are often the result of human activities, as in the southern corn leaf blight epidemic of the 1970s, but can result from natural events, as in the brown spot of rice epidemic in India of the 1940s. Epidemics can be classified into categories that direct the appropriate choices of management practices. These practices include exclusion of the pathogen, eradication of the pathogen, and protection of the plant. Management practices can be incorporated into integrated pest management (IPM) programs that reduce the need for pesticides, prolong the usefulness of resistance genes, and reduce losses to diseases.

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