does sustainable agriculture use pesticides



Truly sustainable farms do not use chemical pesticides, fertilizers or genetically modified seeds. They do not dispose of vast amounts of untreated manure by spreading it in toxic quantities on cropland.

Environment. Truly sustainable farms do not use chemical pesticides, fertilizers or genetically modified seeds. They do not dispose of vast amounts of untreated manure by spreading it in toxic quantities on cropland.Oct 10, 2018


Is sustainable agriculture possible without pesticides?

 · Yes, sustainable agriculture is not only possible without pesticides but preferable. Crop rotation, replace hedgerows, allow nature to balance itself. Stop paying for poisons to put on our food, plough in muck and green mulch, re-learn the old ways to keep crops healthy.

Do farmers use pesticides to keep crops healthy?

 · Pesticides are perhaps one of the most misunderstood technologies used in modern agriculture. There are currently no viable alternatives to chemical crop protection, and in spite of an enormous volume of misinformation, when used correctly, pesticides offer safe and effective protection for both conventional and organic crops and make an essential …

Do organic growers use all pesticides?

Sustainable agriculture aims to meet the food needs of the growing world population while ensuring minimal impact on the environment and humans as well as productivity. Although pesticides represent the backbone of the agri-food sector in its endeavor to secure food production their application is p …

Do pesticides harm soil microorganisms?

Clever chemistry can help get more pesticide to stay on target, drastically reducing pollution. Meanwhile, some types of indoor agriculture can produce more food in a …


What does sustainable agriculture include?

“Sustainable agriculture” as legally defined in U.S. Code Title 7, Section 3103 means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will over the long term: Satisfy human food and fiber needs.

Is sustainable agriculture organic?

Organic farming is focused on the inputs used in production (e.g. non-GMO, no synthetic fertilizer/pesticides/herbicides), whereas sustainable farming is focused on the physical treatment of the land (e.g. no till, cover crops, buffer zones).

How do pesticides affect sustainability?

Impact on environment Pesticides can contaminate soil, water, turf, and other vegetation. In addition to killing insects or weeds, pesticides can be toxic to a host of other organisms including birds, fish, beneficial insects, and non-target plants.

What is a sustainable alternative to using pesticides?

Companion planting: planting certain types of plants will keep some pests away. “Soft” chemicals: soap, stinging nettles, and rhubarbs provide excellent alternatives to pesticides. Parasites: certain pests are often easily targeted by specific parasites.

Does organic farming use pesticides?

“Organically grown” food is food grown and processed using no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.

Do organic foods use pesticides?

Contrary to popular belief, organic farming does use pesticides. Over a hundred fertilizers and inputs (pesticides, insecticides or fungicides) are authorized by organic farming regulations in Europe and the United States.

Why pesticides are not sustainable?

Enormous amounts of toxic chemicals are dumped on land every year — over 1 billion pounds are used in the United State (US) every year and 5.6 billion pounds globally (Alavanja 2009). This destroys the very ecosystems that used to help plants fight off pests, and is a major factor biodiversity loss and extinction.

Why do farmers continue to use pesticides despite environmental health and sustainability costs?

Abstract. Use of chemical inputs such as pesticides has increased agricultural production and productivity. However, negative externalities from such use have increased too. These externalities include damage to agricultural land, fisheries, fauna and flora.

How are pesticides used in agriculture?

Pesticides are used in agriculture to control weeds, insect infestation and diseases. There are many different types of pesticides; each is meant to be effective against specific pests. Some examples include: Algaecides to kill and/or slowing the growth of algae.

Should we rely on pesticides for agriculture?

Farmers use pesticides to: protect crops from insect pests, weeds and fungal diseases while they are growing. prevent rats, mice, flies and other insects from contaminating foods whilst they are being stored. safeguard human health, by stopping food crops being contaminated by fungi.

How can you grow crops without pesticides?

Garden Without PesticidesBuild healthy soil with compost and mulch. … Plant right for your site. … Practice smart watering. … Learn to live with a few insects. … Practice natural lawn care. … Use pesticides as a last resort. … Pest problems don’t necessarily require pesticides. … If you use garden chemicals:

What is the alternative to pesticides for farming?

COMPANION PLANTS Usually strongly scented plants such as garlic, mint, lavender, and marigold (tagete) can deter pests, so planting those plants next to our carrots, tomatoes, brassicas etc. can really help fight the enemy of our crop.


How does failure to protect crops affect the environment?

Simply put, failure to protect cro ps is an unnecessarily wasteful use of natural resources that is incompatible with sustainable productivity. Without chemical crop protection, products yield losses would be catastrophically high. At the cost of natural habitats, the area of land required to grow sufficient food would be enlarged to compensate for losses; ultimately, the range, quality and safety of agricultural produce would be reduced.

How will natural resources affect agriculture?

Natural resources and investment in knowledge, innovation and technology have supported an intensification of agricultural productivity, in turn contributing to decades of economic growth and improvements in health and wellbeing . Whilst this is no small achievement, the job is not done. The demand for agricultural produce is expected to increase by 70% by the year 2050, whilst 60% of the ecosystems that support the production of these resources suffer degradation and unsustainable use.

What is a pesticide risk assessment?

Pesticides undergo compulsory risk assessment which evaluates whether, when used correctly, products can be shown to have no direct or indirect harmful effect on human or animal health and do not adversely affect groundwater quality. The environmental risk assessment also evaluates the potential impact on non-target organisms when the products are correctly used.

What are the frontlines of agricultural production?

The rural scenes that soften the hard edges of the suburbs and provide space for recreation and relaxation are the frontlines of agricultural production. This is where we grow our food and wherewith their complex interactions and interdependencies – agriculture and biodiversity coexist.

How will farmers be required to double production over the next 30-40 years?

Farmers will be required to double production over the next 30-40 years and there will be pressure to achieve this with more efficient use of land, water, and inputs . Inputs are traditionally used to optimise yields, – for example by minimising the damage caused by agricultural pests. Whilst many of the organisms that live on, or move through farms contribute to the delivery of essential ecosystem services, such as the regulation of soil and water quality and the pollination of crops, some of these organisms are pests that pose risk to human health and productivity, and must, therefore, be managed.

How can farmers improve biodiversity?

Additional environmental protection and benefits for biodiversity can be delivered through the implementation of a variety of on-farm management practices. Farmers have at their disposal a range of tried and tested best management practices (BMPs) that can improve habitat and forage for beneficial species, and manage the risk of spill or drift of crop protection products.

How long does it take to get a crop protection product on the market?

On average, it takes a decade of research and development and in excess of $250m to get a new crop protection product on the market; a market that is frequently described as one of the most regulated in Europe.

How can we make food systems sustainable?

Many new innovations have the potential to redesign global food systems to make them sustainable. Some of them come from unexpected quarters. Bees can be surprisingly efficient and accurate crop sprayers. Clever chemistry can help get more pesticide to stay on target, drastically reducing pollution. Meanwhile, some types of indoor agriculture can produce more food in a fraction of the space used by conventional farming, leaving more space for nature outdoors.

How does food pollution affect the environment?

Growing demand for food has polluted much of the world’s water, soil and air with excess fertilisers and chemical sprays , which are remarkably inefficient. Up to 98% of a crop spray won’t stay on the plant but will instead bounce straight off, accumulating in the soil and eventually running off into waterways. At the same time, conversion of land from wild spaces to farming is driving biodiversity loss, as wild plants and animals have less space to live in.

Why are agrochemicals shipped in plastic containers?

Agrochemicals are often shipped in plastic containers as concentrates that gets diluted at the farm. When their contents have been poured out, there’s material stuck inside – like that pesky ketchup. That waste becomes a packaging disposal problem, because the leftovers are toxic.

Why do bees help plants?

Bees do not only help plants grow and reproduce through their work as pollinators, but also transport communities of microbes around with them too. It has led some scientists to wonder if bees can be recruited to deliver beneficial fungi that protect plants, reducing the need for pesticides.

Do bees kill pests?

Bees as sprayers. As well as reducing the need for conventional sprays to kill pests, there are other ways to help protect plants from ill health. One approach makes use of an extraordinarily precise and well-adapted system that can deliver a substance exactly where it is needed – living bees.

Do farmers use pesticides?

Some farmers prefer not to use pesticides at all , says Hannah Wittman, academic director at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the University of British Columbia. They are committed to other ways to keep their crops healthy while benefitting the environment.

Does agrichemical spraying increase efficiency?

Another tweak to the materials used to deliver agrichemical products may drastically increase the efficiency of a pesticide spray. Farmers “basically douse [their] crops, but only 2-5% of what is sprayed actually sticks to the plant”, Varasani says. That got him thinking about how chemistry might help pesticide stay on target.

How are pesticides used in agriculture?

Many farms in the U.S. rely on chemical intervention to fight pests and weeds.

What are the risks for humans?

Humans are primarily exposed to pesticides occupationally, from applying pesticides or working in fields where pesticides have been applied. Certain pesticides have been proven to be detrimental to human health. Organophosphates, for example, have been linked to developmental problems in exposed children.

Are pesticides dangerous to pollinators?

Pollinators are responsible for one out of every three bites of food and contribute billions of dollars to agriculture. By some estimates, there may be as many as 350,000 different pollinator species.

How do pesticides impact the environment?

Pesticides can have detrimental effects on organisms in the environment other than the pests they target. They can drift into surrounding areas by wind or be carried in water or soil from agricultural fields into waterways and groundwater.

How can we decrease pesticide risks?

There are a variety of strategies that farmers can use to reduce, or mitigate, pesticide-related risks. Buffer zones between an application site and an untreated area like a school, pollinator habitat or body of water are a common risk mitigation strategy.

In conclusion

Pesticides can be harmful to humans, particularly the farm workers whose jobs create more opportunities for exposure than the general public, and to organisms in the environment that are not the intended target, including pollinators and other beneficial species.

Why are pesticides used?

Various types of pesticides are used to protect crops from weeds, insects and microbes. The decision to use chemicals, non-chemical methods or a combination of both approaches results in tradeoffs that can affect food affordability, food waste, land use and carbon footprint.

Why is pesticide use important?

There are tradeoffs to using pesticides, to using organic methods or to using nothing at all. Proper pesticide use can help protect part of the environment. “They allow us to maximize production on the smallest footprint of land. This is called ‘land sparing.’.

Why is crop protection important?

Crop protection helps control weeds, pests and diseases that starve food crops of the nutrients, sunlight and water needed to thrive. Pesticides are part of a much larger conversation about sustainability.

Why are pesticides harmful to the environment?

As we evaluate tradeoffs in this series, we see that pesticides can have environmental risks because they kill certain plants and insects. Crop protectants also benefit the environment by reducing the amount of land, water and fertilizer needed to grow crops, which protects wildlife areas and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

What is the best way to control weeds and insects?

Chemical sprays are one method used to manage weeds and insects, but there are several approaches. “Many farmers in the U.S. practice integrated pest management (IPM). This means that farmers use a variety of methods to grow and protect the crop and will only choose chemical control when it is the better option.

How much food is lost to pests without crop protection?

According to Crop Life International, even with the use of modern crop protection products, 20 to 40 percent of potential food production is lost every year to pests.

What does USDA certified organic mean?

USDA certified organic foods are produced in compliance with National Organic Program (NOP) standards. Organic does not mean that foods are pesticide free. “It means only that the product was produced according to the standards of the NOP.

What is the pesticide use in India?

The pattern of pesticide usage in India is different from that for the world in general. As can be seen in Figure 1, in India 76% of the pesticide used is insecticide, as against 44% globally (Mathur, 1999). The use of herbicides and fungicides is correspondingly less heavy. The main use of pesticides in India is for cotton crops (45%), followed by paddy and wheat.

What is pesticide?

The term pesticide covers a wide range of compounds including insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides, molluscicides, nematicides, plant growth regulators and others. Among these, organochlorine (OC) insecticides, used successfully in controlling a number of diseases, such as malaria and typhus, were banned or restricted after …

How do pesticides help the Indian economy?

This result has been achieved by the use of high-yield varieties of seeds, advanced irrigation technologies and agricultural chemicals (Employment Information: Indian Labour Statistics, 1994). Similarly outputs and productivity have increased dramatically in most countries, for example wheat yields in the United Kingdom, corn yields in the USA. Increases in productivity have been due to several factors including use of fertiliser, better varieties and use of machinery. Pesticides have been an integral part of the process by reducing losses from the weeds, diseases and insect pests that can markedly reduce the amount of harvestable produce. Warren (1998) also drew attention to the spectacular increases in crop yields in the United States in the twentieth century. Webster et al.(1999) stated that “considerable economic losses” would be suffered without pesticide use and quantified the significant increases in yield and economic margin that result from pesticide use. Moreover, in the environment most pesticides undergo photochemical transformation to produce metabolites which are relatively non-toxic to both human beings and the environment (Kole et al., 1999).

How many pesticides were used in 1996?

In 1996, seven pesticides (acephate, chlopyriphos, chlopyriphos-methyl, methamidophos, iprodione, procymidone and chlorothalonil) and two groups of pesticides (benomyl group and maneb group, i.e. dithiocarbamates) were analysed in apples, tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries and grapes.

What are the primary benefits of pesticides?

The primary benefits are the consequences of the pesticides’ effects – the direct gains expected from their use. For example the effect of killing caterpillars feeding on the crop brings the primary benefit of higher yields and better quality of cabbage. The three main effects result in 26 primary benefits ranging from protection of recreational turf to saved human lives. The secondary benefits are the less immediate or less obvious benefits that result from the primary benefits. They may be subtle, less intuitively obvious, or of longer term. It follows that for secondary benefits it is therefore more difficult to establish cause and effect, but nevertheless they can be powerful justifications for pesticide use. For example the higher cabbage yield might bring additional revenue that could be put towards children’s education or medical care, leading to a healthier, better educated population. There are various secondary benefits identified, ranging from fitter people to conserved biodiversity.

What are the high risk groups exposed to pesticides?

The high risk groups exposed to pesticides include production workers, formulators, sprayers, mixers, loaders and agricultural farm workers. During manufacture and formulation, the possibility of hazards may be higher because the processes involved are not risk free. In industrial settings, workers are at increased risk since they handle various toxic chemicals including pesticides, raw materials, toxic solvents and inert carriers.

Why is prevention of adverse health effects and promotion of health profitable investments for employers and employees?

There is a need to convey the message that prevention of adverse health effects and promotion of health are profitable investments for employers and employees as a support to a sustainable development of economics. To sum up, based on our limited knowledge of direct and/or inferential information, the domain of pesticides illustrates a certain ambiguity in situations in which people are undergoing life-long exposure. There is thus every reason to develop health education packages based on knowledge, aptitude and practices and to disseminate them within the community in order to minimise human exposure to pesticides.

How did farming change?

As farms and fields were consolidating and expanding, farming methods changed too, moving towards specialization, mechanization and ever-increasing reliance on fossil fuels. Tractors and other equipment got bigger; chemical fertilizers revolutionized crop yields; improved irrigation forced dry areas into production; animals were moved into controlled confinement; and seed genes began to be spliced.

What was the belief of the world after World War II?

Following World War II, as wartime technology was repurposed for civilian use, a belief arose that processing, scientific engineering and other laboratory interventions made products safer, healthier, more nutritious and more trustworthy than those that were “natural.”.

Why are sustainable farms important?

Public Health. Without the use of hazardous chemical pesticides, sustainable farms are much safer and healthier for their farmers, workers and surrounding communities, and the food they produce is free of chemical residues.

How can agriculture help farmers?

A different kind of federal agriculture policy could help farmers and taxpayers, and curb many of the worst impacts of industrialization. A policy based on supply management, which creates a grain reserve (a common sense protection against low yield years) and a floor price for farmers, would not incentivize fencerow-to-fencerow planting, making it easier for farmers to take marginal lands (land not worth farming because it would not make enough money) out of production. A 2011 analysis by Dr. Darryl Ray at the University of Tennessee showed that if a farmer-owned reserve had been in place between 1996 and 2010, rather than the patchwork subsidy system, taxpayers would have saved more than $96 billion. The Food from Family Farms Act by the National Family Farm Coalition, is one example of a farm bill proposal to reinstate reserves and fair prices, along with ecologically sustainable planting and a more secure disaster program.

How does sustainable agriculture contribute to the ecosystem?

Sustainable agriculture produce s its own inputs (fertilizer from animals, feed grown on the land) and manages its outputs (crop waste, manure) in a closed loop cycle. It contributes to soil fertility, clean water systems, biodiversity and other ecosystem services, rather than depleting them .

What is the myth of efficiency?

In the free market, “efficiency,” the rationale for many structural changes, including in agriculture, does not account for the many costs that are externalized, or not part of the financial equation, such as impacts on natural resources or public health.

Why did the US industrialize agriculture?

The rationale for the industrialization of agriculture was the need to ensure a cheap, safe food supply for a rapidly growing US and world population . In some ways, that goal has been met: Americans spend just 6.4 percent of their income on food, the lowest percentage in the world; we also export inexpensive food around the world, including to food-insecure areas. 4

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