Pests and diseases have threatened farmers since farming began. The damage they cause can be economic (through lost output, income and investment) as well as psychological (manifested in shock and panic). Combating pests and diseases is a necessity for farmers and, as a rule, decisions regarding control are made by the individual farmer. However, the presence of a pest or disease on one farm poses a threat to adjacent farms and sometimes even to distant localities. As such, pests and diseases imply negative impacts on third parties and call for an additional response, either from affected parties or a public agency.

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