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How important are plant diseases as major causes of food insecurity?
C. A. HOLLIER (1). (1) Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA, U.S.A.

Plant disease is a major risk factor in crop production and leads to food insecurity globally. Historical observations and current research aid in the understanding of the disease process and help with disease management planning and prevention. As a means of management, risk factors should be recognized from the onset and reduced as much as is reasonable through an integrated management system designed for known risk factors. These integrated management approaches begin with a plan made prior to planting and is implemented throughout the growing season. The quantity of pathogens, the environments in which they thrive, our lack of understanding of some disease cycles and their impact on the global food and fiber crops, make it impossible to manage all diseases adequately. The global impact of plant diseases leads to inadequate food resources for many people each day much less for the long term. This presentation will present the problem of food shortages globally, why they exist due to the influence of plant diseases and examples of epidemics that lead to food insecurity.

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