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Fungicides belong to a category of pesticides that target fungi and spores. This pesticide has two goals: It either kills the fungus or prevents it from spreading disease in home gardens and commercial crops. A variety of effective fungicides exist on the market, such as Banner Maxx and Truban, and these fungicides work quickly to stop the fungi from causing any further damage.

Types of Fungi

Birds, rodents and weather do not cause the amount of damage to a crop that a fungus does. In fact, fungi rank number one as the worst cause of crop loss in the world. Bacteria, nematodes and plant viruses also spread disease and wipe out entire crops. Plants are susceptible to diseases and require careful management for maximizing production. Some types of fungi include:

  • Powdery mildew
  • Rust fungus
  • Ascomycete fungus
  • Brackets
  • Gill mushrooms

How Do Plants Contract Diseases?

As mentioned, a plant contracts a disease from soil-borne nematodes, various fungi and bacteria. Root-knot nematodes attack plants and weaken their immunity to diseases brought on either by fungi or from vectors that transmit the disease from plant to plant. These vectors include thrips that can even spread plant diseases from greenhouse to greenhouse.

A plant also contracts viruses from various animals or human activity, which includes farming and landscaping. The plant offspring can also inherit viral diseases from their parental plants; this cycle is known as vertical transmission. Horizontal transmission refers to bacterial, fungal and viral infections that spread between members of the same plant species that do not belong to a parent-child relationship.

Fungal Signs and Symptoms

In order to treat fungal infections on plants, you have to know what to look for. A sign of plant disease refers to the physical evidence of a pathogen on the plant. A symptom refers to the effect of the pathogen on the plant. Fungal signs include leaf and stem rust, white mold and powdery mildew. Fungal symptoms include:

  • Damping off, or seedling death
  • Leaf spotting
  • Chlorosis, or yellowing of the leaves

Bacterial symptoms include cankers, galls and leaf spots while viral symptoms include stunting, mosaic leaf patterns and crinkling.

Why Use Fungicides?

Fungicides act as both curative and preventative maintenance of fungi on plants. They control many diseases during a crop's establishment and development and also increase its productivity. Because fungi often spoil stored fruits and vegetables, using a fungicide on the crop improves the quality of the produce and any harvested plants.

How to Use Fungicides

Fungicides come in a variety of applications, from dust and granules to gas and liquid. Apply the fungicide directly to the seeds, bulbs and foliage with a sprayer. Enclose any areas where a fungicide is used as a fumigant, and always make sure to follow the directions for use.