USDA Researchers Working To Conserve Fungicide Use

USDA Researchers Working To Conserve Fungicide Use

U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher
Doctor Kenneth Deahl (deal) studies potato blight at the Agricultural Research Service
facility in Beltsville, Maryland. It caused the Irish Potato Famine in which more than
three million people died or migrated and it’s still a master disease today. Deahl
and his colleagues study plant diseases like late blight that affect tomatoes and potatoes
so that farmers and fungicide makers know what they are up against. Well our main function
is to monitor the changes in the pathogens so we can alert the industry as to the changes
in the different types. And by the different types we’re able to tell them what resistance
is, what pesticides are used and if pesticides will be effective. Deahl says he wants to
help farmers use fungicides more efficiently and properly. These strains; some of them
are resistant to certain products and a farmer can spend a whole bundle of money spraying
pesticides that don’t work at all. We’re hoping to help the farmer initially in telling
him the early occurrences so that they can start applying pesticides and the proper pesticides
in the correct amounts as early as possible to combat the onslaught of this disease. Yield
losses caused by late blight and the cost of control measures have been estimated to
exceed six point seven billion dollars annually. For the U.S. Department of Agriculture I’m
Bob Ellison.

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