Within Agriculture, fungicides are crop protection products that kill or prevent the growth of fungi and their spores. This set of products can be used to control fungi that damage growing crops and therefore reduce the number of crops that can be grown. These diseases include rusts, mildews and blights. These products might also be used to control mould and misdrew in places like your bathroom or kitchen at home. But are placed on crops at an extremely low rate and well before the crops are growing. In a farming example, 1 litre of the product would be combined with 200 litres of water and then this would be sprayed over the equivalent of 2 football pitches. This is the equivalent of using one shot glass of the product in the penalty area of a football pitch. So very small quantities.
Fungicides work in a variety of ways, but most of them damage fungal cell membranes or interfere with energy production within fungal cells.
Rules of thumb for fungicide use
For efficient and safe fungicide use, certain rules have to be followed:
The problem has to be diagnosed correctly: Before applying a fungicide make sure that you know the cause of the disease (is it a disease? If so what is causing it? Fungi? which one?) and when (spring, fall etc.) and how often to apply the fungicide. The timing of the fungicide application can enhance the effectiveness of the product and prevent additional sprays.
When ready to use the recommended fungicide for the particular problem your plant is facing, read the label and follow instructions. This will not only protect your plant, but it will also protect your health and the environment. Remember always to apply fungicides using the appropriate equipment at the recommended application rate.
Fungicide labels provide information on recommended use, ingredients, mode of action, and formulation of the product.
Examples of the most popular farming fungicides are: azoxystrobin, mancozeb, propiconazole, difenoconazole.