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Hungry Planet: Stories of Plant Diseases

Chapter Eight. Student Resources

Chemicals to Protect Plants: Pesticides

Pesticides are a wide variety of chemicals with different target organisms and levels of toxicity. Fungicides are the most common pesticides used to manage plant diseases. Today, scientists are working to reduce the need for fungicides. In fact, most field crops do not receive regular fungicide applications, although many fruit and vegetable crops do. One example is the use of fungicides to manage apple scab. In the United States, pesticide development, application, and residues on food are strictly regulated. Still, the use of pesticides is one of the most controversial aspects of modern agriculture.

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