Plant diseases aren't new. They've been causing losses to crops since the earliest records of man. Crop losses and food shortages from rusts, blights, blasts, and mildews are recorded in the Old Testament and in the historic and religious writings of the early Greeks, Romans and Egyptians.
Shurtleff, Malcolm C.
"Plant Disease Outlook for 1956,"
Iowa Farm Science: Vol. 10
, Article 9.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/farmscience/vol10/iss7/9