Plant pathogens are organisms those cause plant diseases. They are considered as plant pests and may include bacteria, fungi, viruses, nematodes, parasitic plants. Plant pathogens spread in various ways, including by insects, water, soil, air, people and other animals. Although relatives of some plant pathogens are human or animal pathogens, most plant pathogens only harm plants. Organisms that cause plant diseases reduce the ability to produce food and support the economy. Some plant pathogens make immuno-depressed people also sick. All plants from citrus to grains to ornamental plants are susceptible to plant diseases. Plant diseases cause billions of dollars worth of direct and indirect losses every year. Emerging plant pathogens require preparation and planned, scientifically-based response to lessen the impact on our farmers and the economy.
All material of plant origin in sludge, soil and biowaste may harbour the potential risk of being contaminated with plant pathogens. The composition of plant pathogens is dependent on the type and species of plant material included in the waste. Sludge which has undergone biological, chemical or heat treatment, long-term storage or any other appropriate process so as significantly to reduce its fermentability and the health hazards resulting from its use. Biowaste is in the broadest sense any biodegradable waste. Surface soil from construction or building sites may be infected with plant pathogens, and may thus cause a potential risk for spread of disease. However, most of this soil is not spread on agricultural land.
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