In order to control plant diseases in agriculture, the use of fungicides is strongly recommended. Fungicides are only a particular category of pesticides aimed at combating pathogens that may affect the various types of crops.
Fungicides are therefore necessary and effective in combating the disease in a delicate period for the crop, corresponding to its formation and development, and they are also in favour of increasing the productivity of crops, as well as increasing the shelf life of harvested fruit, vegetables, tubers and seeds.
Another fundamental function of fungicides is to eliminate any risk of disease and poisoning for humans and animals.
It is appropriate to maximise the effectiveness of the fungicidal action by applying the product at the first signs of the plant’s disease symptoms, since the damage caused by the disease to the plant is not subsequently compensated in any way. Fungicidal drugs are available in various forms: gaseous, liquid, as well as powder and tablets.
Let us see what are the most widely used solutions in agriculture in this regard. For the treatment of seedlings, bulbs, seeds, we have first of all the preparation fundazol, in powder: it is characterized by a wide range of action, is to be diluted in water, in a ratio of 1 gram per liter. Then there is the Maxim-COP solution, effectively used to season potatoes in the phase before sowing, it is a non-toxic solution for plants, insects, birds, but it is for fish, it is not by chance that the introduction of Maxim-COP in water is forbidden. In the prevention phase is instead appropriate to use phytosporin-M, a solution characterized by a very low degree of toxicity, note that it is not dangerous for bees.
With regard to the treatment of the soil, prepared with grooves or holes, or divided on several levels, it is usually preferred the use of liquid fungicides to ensure maximum impregnation, and in this case the fungicide is sprayed by drip irrigation, or in spray form around the base of the plant.
For the treatment of the foliage, and, in general, of the aerial parts of the plant, the sprayer is used, whether small size, or vice versa, of the larger size, to be used with the tractor. It is then possible to administer it to the trees by means of the grafting procedure. Finally, in greenhouses, the processing plants inside release the fungicides in the form of gas, a method with a particular effectiveness, since the fungicide gas reaches the entire area covered by the greenhouse, and completely covers the volume of space affected by the greenhouse, in all its parts.
With regard to particular typologies, the fungicides of the Topaz type are applied as preventive measure, with a vast range of utilization; as it is toxic for the insects, we have to keep in mind that its utilization is categorically forbidden during the flowering period of the plants. With the fungicide type Vectra, the formation of pathogenic fungi on the plant is prevented, but also cured; it is not at all toxic for the plants and has a very low degree of toxicity for man and animals. As for the Home solution, it is a broad-spectrum fungicide, and it is allowed to be used within three weeks before harvesting.
Finally, we find the colloidal sulphur, formed in powder form, which is particularly suitable to fight powdery mildew and scab; since it is not toxic, its use is allowed by the regulations in force even up to two days after harvesting. In general, fungicides can kill fungi, damaging the cell membrane or making inactive enzymes that are fundamental for the life of the fungus, or blocking proteins that play a key role in vital functions for the fungus itself (such as energy or respiratory function). There are other remedies that do not directly affect the fungus, but the plant that hosts them and that we wish to treat.
It would be appropriate to strengthen the immune defences of plants through the induction of chemical signals with the function of activating defence mechanisms that biologically translate into manifestations such as the thickening of the cell walls (which are thus more protected) and the development of natural defences that are specific to the plant itself, i.e. antifungal proteins, achieving biological immunity against pathogenic organisms.