Last Updated: August 24, 2017

Definition - What does Fungicide mean?

A fungicide is a biocide chemical compound that inhibits the growth of fungi and fungal spores as they can cause a lot of harm in agriculture and lead to a critical losses of yield, quality, and profit of crops.

Fungicides are used both in agriculture and to fight fungal infections in animals. Fungicides are also used to control oomycetes, which are not fungi but use the same functions as fungi to infect plants.

While diseases are thought to be a major source of crop damage, fungi is an underestimated reason for crop loss worldwide. Fungicides are used to kill or inhibit the growth of fungi and are known to be a type of pesticide. In cannabis cultivation, fungicides are commonly required to beat things like powdery mildew and bud rot.

According to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, a fungus is labelled as any non-chlorophyll bearing thallophyte of a lower order than mosses.

MaximumYield explains Fungicide

Fungicides control the various fungal diseases by specifically killing or inhibiting the fungus causing the diseases. However, not all diseases are caused by fungi and so they cannot be controlled by fungicides all the time. Some diseases, such as fusarium and verticillium wilt, insect damage, and disorders caused by abiotic factors, cannot be controlled by fungicides. Thus, it is essential to first determine the cause of the symptoms before applying a fungicide.

Fungicides can either be contact, trans-laminar, or systemic. While contact fungicides are not taken up into the cannabis plant tissue and only protect the spot where the plant is sprayed, trans-laminar fungicides redistribute the fungicide from the upper, sprayed leaf surface to the lower, unsprayed surface, and the systemic fungicides are taken up and redistributed through the xylem vessels. Few fungicides move to all parts of a plant as some are locally systemic and some move upwardly.

Fungicides are mostly sold in a liquid form at retail. Sulfur is the most common active element used in fungicides and is present at 0.08% in weaker concentrates and as high as 0.5% for more potent fungicides. Meanwhile, sulfur is much more toxic in fungicides in powdered form.

Since some fungicides can be harsh on humans, many people look for cannabis that has been grown in a fungicide-free environment. In response, growers are opting for organic solutions to chemical fungicides, using things like potassium bicarbonate, hydrogen peroxide, and copper sulfate mixed with lime. Bacillus subtilis, a strain of bacteria that fights mildew and gray mold without affecting plants, is also commonly used as a fungicide in marijuana grow rooms.

There are fungicides like vinclozolin and ziram that have been prohibited for use due to their toxic effects on humans. Alternatively, there are a number of fungicides that are used in human health care.

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