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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Biocontrol FAQS 4 Kids

Scientists at Beltsville Agricultural Research Center study plants (mostly vegetables and field crops) and the diseases they get so that these diseases can be prevented, not by using pesticides that might get into our food and water, but by using natural organisms.  Some of the natural organisms are so small you need a microscope to see them so they are called microorganisms.  These microorganisms already live in the soil.

When these microorganisms attack and slow down or kill plant pathogens (microorganisms that cause the plant disease), they are called biocontrol agents (BCAs for short).  Some of these BCAs can also be used to kill weeds (plants we do not want) that are harmful to other plants, animals and people.

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BARC researchers use science to help control plant diseases and protect  the earth

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Phone: 301-504-5080
E-mail: deb.fravel@ars.usda.gov


Last Modified: 12/22/2009
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