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Farmers face ongoing threats from pests and diseases that can damage harvests and lead to livestock losses. Common threats to plants and animals include insects, weeds, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Climate change makes the situation even more difficult, as shifts in temperatures and rainfall patterns create environments where pests and diseases can more easily spread and thrive.

Agricultural scientists have developed many treatments for crops and livestock to help eliminate or reduce the threat of certain pests and diseases. Products including herbicides and insecticides, new seed varieties, livestock vaccines, and animal nutrition are helping farmers overcome a number of risks. In addition, advancements in farming technology – such as soil sensors and GPS-equipped farm machinery – enable farmers to deliver crop protection products with greater efficiency. This means they can often spot-treat areas within a field where a pest or disease is starting to emerge, without having to apply treatment to the entire field.

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