What Potato Famine?!
Leonard Gianessi and Ashley Williams -
Once responsible for the destruction of nearly 100 percent of Irish potato crops, “late blight” is, happily, a thing of the past. In the mid-1800s, the disease attacked potato plants in the U.S. and then in Belgium, England and Ireland. The ensuing devastation included an estimated 1.5 million Irish deaths, a result of famine and disease when their primary food source was destroyed.
What’s the good news? “Late blight” – along with a variety of other diseases and conditions - is now a thing of the past. When the first fungicide was discovered in the 1880s, crops began to benefit from their protection. In addition to increasing yields, these treatments help reduce pest damage and protect crops from disease and drought. Ever-better technology continues to improve these products and, coupled with strictly regulated production, use, and disposal guidelines, helps the farmers of today deliver safe, fresh, bountiful crops.