how are pesticides used in 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

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.May 5, 2021


Why do we use pesticides in farming?

 · Pesticides are used only after monitoring and established guidelines indicate they are needed to control pests to prevent economic losses. Treatments are made with the goal of removing only the target organism.

Do chemical fertilizers actually help in agriculture?

 · Pesticides are agrochemicals used in agricultural lands, public health programs, and urban green areas in order to protect plants and humans from various diseases.However, due to their known ability to cause a large number of negative health and environmental effects, their side effects can be an important environmental health risk factor.The urgent need for a …

What are the dangers of chemical pesticides in agriculture?

Properly applied, pesticides contribute to higher yields and improved product quality by controlling weeds, insects, nematodes, and plant pathogens. In addition, herbicides reduce the amount of labor, machinery, and fuel used for mechanical weed control. However, because pesticides may possess toxic properties, their use often prompts concern

How many pesticides does American agriculture use?

 · How We Use Pesticides in Agriculture “The dose makes the poison” maxim relies on the finding that all chemicals, even water and oxygen, can be toxic if too much is consumed or absorbed. And, for a consumer-friendly understanding of what a pesticide is, here’s a good definition to keep in mind: a pesticide is any substance or technology that is used to kill, …


How do farmers use pesticides?

They may use mechanical methods, such as tillage and hoeing by hand, to manage weeds. Some may release beneficial organisms in fields, especially when managing insect pests. They may also apply chemical pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides, usually through spraying the fields.

How do pesticides affect agriculture?

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 are the most common pesticides used in agriculture?

The most commonly used insecticides are the organophosphates, pyrethroids and carbamates (see Figure 1). The USDA (2001) reported that insecticides accounted for 12% of total pesticides applied to the surveyed crops. Corn and cotton account for the largest shares of insecticide use in the United States.

How do we use pesticides?

Apply pesticides during the cooler part of the day, such as the early morning or evening. Treatments made in the early morning allow foliage to dry before temperatures reach 85–90°F. Take special precautions when using pesticides containing oil. Treat when conditions allow plants to dry quickly.

Why are pesticides used?

Pesticides are used to control various pests and disease carriers, such as mosquitoes, ticks, rats and mice. 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.

Are pesticides really necessary in agriculture?

Without crop protection, including pesticides, more than half of the world’s crops would be lost to insects, diseases and weeds. Pesticides are important. They help farmers grow more food on less land by protecting crops from pests, diseases and weeds as well as raising productivity per hectare.

Why do farmers use fertilizers and pesticides?

Abstract: Chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides are widely used in agriculture to improve crop yields. Most of the compounds used are synthetic, and their overuse causes environmental pollution and human health problems. Currently, several countries are working to reduce the use of agrochemicals.

Where are pesticides most commonly used?

Pesticides are used all around us, in homes and gardens, schools, parks and agricultural fields. All too often, these chemicals are allowed onto the market before their impacts are fully understood — and harms to our health and the environment are discovered years later.

Why do farmers spray pesticides on their crops?

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.

Why are pesticides used by farmers across the country today?

Industrial agriculture relies on two types of chemicals: fertilizers and pesticides. The former boost soil fertility, making crops more productive, while the latter protect crops by controlling weeds (herbicides), insect and animal infestation (insecticides and rodenticides) and fungal/mold diseases (fungicides).

How are pesticides good for the environment?

Pesticides can be helpful in dealing with pests in our environment such as controlling invasive plant species that threaten native habitats. Pesticides have risks to the environment too, especially when they are used improperly.


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 …

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.

How do pesticides get into water?

Pesticides can reach surface water through runoff from treated plants and soil. Contamination of water by pesticides is widespread. The results of a comprehensive set of studies done by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on major river basins across the country in the early to mid- 90s yielded startling results.

When was the first pesticide poisoning reported in India?

In India the first report of poisoning due to pesticides was from Kerala in 1958, where over 100 people died after consuming wheat flour contaminated with parathion (Karunakaran, 1958). This prompted the Special Committee on Harmful Effects of Pesticides constituted by the ICAR to focus attention on the problem (Report of the Special Committee of ICAR, 1972). In a multi-centric study to assess the pesticide residues in selected food commodities collected from different states of the country (Surveillance of Food Contaminants in India, 1993), DDT residues were found in about 82% of the 2205 samples of bovine milk collected from 12 states. About 37% of the samples contained DDT residues above the tolerance limit of 0.05 mg/kg (whole milk basis). The highest level of DDT residues found was 2.2 mg/kg. The proportion of the samples with residues above the tolerance limit was highest in Maharastra (74%), followed by Gujarat (70%), Andhra Pradesh (57%), Himachal Pradesh (56%), and Punjab (51%). In the remaining states, this proportion was less than 10%. Data on 186 samples of 20 commercial brands of infants formulae showed the presence of residues of DDT and HCH isomers in about 70 and 94% of the samples with their maximum level of 4.3 and 5.7 mg/kg (fat basis) respectively. Measurement of chemicals in the total diet provides the best estimates of human exposure and of the potential risk. The risk of consumers may then be evaluated by comparison with toxicologically acceptable intake levels. The average total DDT and BHC consumed by an adult were 19.24 mg/day and 77.15 mg/day respectively (Kashyap et al., 1994). Fatty food was the main source of these contaminants. In another study, the average daily intake of HCH and DDT by Indians was reported to be 115 and 48 mg per person respectively, which were higher than those observed in most of the developed countries (Kannan et al., 1992).

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 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.

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).

Why are pesticides used in agriculture?

The biggest reason why using pesticides seems worth it to local farmers is because they are a cost-effective way to do more business if their produce is prone to pests. The reality is, that by “playing it safe” and avoiding the use of pesticides, the financial loss that professional growers will incur due to the loss of produce is far greater than the expenses required to purchase pesticides and prevent that from happening in the first place. On top of that, by actively and continuously making your crops “disease-proof”, the chance of the produce being infected in the future drops significantly.

Why do farmers use pesticides?

In order to protect crop health from pests that feed on or infect the plants themselves, farmers tend to use pesticides in order to retain their produce. This helps them prevent potential losses and maximize gains as more crops are produced and thus more are sold in the market.

What is the best way to kill rodents in plants?

Rodenticides – chemicals that protect plants from rodents. Bactericides – kills bacteria on the surface (or inside) of the plant. Fungicides – help plants in areas where they are prone to fungus infections. Larvicides – Used to effectively kill larva in areas where crops are prone to it.

What are the different types of pesticides used in farms?

There are 6 main types of pesticides that are being commonly used in most farms: Insecticides – used to deter insects from feeding on the produce. Herbicides – used to kill malicious plants that damage crops. Rodenticides – chemicals that protect plants from rodents. Bactericides – kills bacteria on the surface (or inside) of the plant.

How can farmers stop using pesticides?

The main way farmers can gain leverage that will allow them to quit the use of pesticides involves new agriculture technology and its adoption pace. Farmers who have sufficient knowledge and capital to invest in new equipment will have the ability to enjoy the benefits of IoT which will acutely increase their crop monitoring abilities. By knowing exactly when a crop is being attacked by fungus, bacteria or viruses, pesticide use can be used when needed rather than used on a continuous basis – this will reduce its potent negative effects. Moreover, the more data we gain by using AgTech on crop health, we will be able to pinpoint and manufacture more eco-friendly solutions that will aid in protecting crops from diseases without negative health effects for humans.

What are the negative effects of pesticides?

Those who are continuously exposed to pesticides are prone to developing respiratory diseases and serious illness es that include cancer, as some of the chemicals that pesticides consist …

Is pesticide bad for the environment?

Using these chemicals might sound like a great decision for the short-term, however, there are huge long-term disadvantages for using toxic chemicals for the soil on which the produce is grown on. At the end of the day, pesticides are poisons – toxic chemicals that don’t just harm the “malicious bugs” that attack plants, but the consumer, producer (farmer) and the environment as well. Valuable vitamins and minerals that the plants absorb from the soil are being “dissolved” by the pesticides, which causes plant health to deteriorate and produce low-quality gains for the long-run.

Why were chemical pesticides developed?

Chemical pesticides were developed at the onset of agricultural history to counter the persistence of pests, pathogens, and competitive species. Interestingly, remnants of elemental sulfur dusting were found to be used in ancient Mesopotamia to protect crops.

How do pesticides affect the environment?

It is now well recognized that chemical pesticides generate considerable losses in non‐target species and cause widespread contamination of soil and water systems. Such widespread issues affect not only surrounding areas, populations, and natural habitats but any ecosystem that may be connected in some way.

What are some ways to limit pesticide use?

Biopesticides and other nature-based strategies for biological control are also promising candidates to limit pesticide use. Considerable research has been conducted over the past decade to explore such strategies through the use of predators, such as ladybirds, to reduce the burden of insecticides in crops.

How can we change the application technique of pesticides?

Another strategy may be to change the application technique of pesticides such as by using a controlled release system , which was discussed further in a review by Indian researchers from earlier this year. Such a strategy provides more precise control and monitoring of pesticide use and may help lessen the ecological burden of pesticides.

How can we reduce the need for pesticides?

For instance, employing genetically modified crops that are pathogen-resistant may reduce the need for pesticides. Metabolomics have also been used to refine the targeting of pesticides by identifying pesticides with high selectivity, unique modes-of-action, and acceptable eco-toxicological properties.

Is the environmental impact of pesticides still ongoing?

Nevertheless, environmental impacts are still ongoing and receive less attention. These impacts were summarised in a review led by Anket Sharma from 2019, in which the use of pesticides from each country was quantified concerning their impacts on global ecosystems.

Does pesticide use decrease crop yield?

This particularly interesting as the study suggests that the increasing pesticide use primarily benefits the diversity of agricultural systems but not overall crop yield.

What are the methods of pest control?

The control methods in integrated pest management include cultural, biological, mechanical, and chemical. As homeowners use a combination of ways to control pests, farmers also use these methods but in different ways. Depending on the audience, explain control methods from the example of a mouse in the house and/or the example of control pests in agriculture.

What is the learning objective of pests?

A pest is an organism living and growing where they are not wanted and can cause damage to plants, humans, structures, and other creatures, including crops that are grown for food. Students will learn about different types of pests and the damage they cause, including an example of pests on corn.

What are the pests that attack corn?

Other invertebrate pests can attack corn at various stages of growth. Weeds. Besides the corn plants, any other plant in the corn field could be considered weeds, as these other plants are competing for water, sunlight, and nutrients with the corn. Diseases.

What are some examples of insects that eat corn?

Examples. Vertebrate Pests. Deer, raccoons, rabbits, birds, and other creatures can eat the corn crop at various stages of the growth of the corn. Invertebrate Pests. Cutworms are the larvae of what will eventually become a moth. In the larvae stage, the cutworms live near or below the soil surface.

What are the threats to food supply?

Pests can pose a serious threat to a food supply. A major food crop is corn, which supplies humans with food that we eat, food for animals, and corn ethanol used for fuel. There are many pests to corn, including vertebrates, invertebrates, weeds, and diseases.

What are the different types of pests?

Pests can be broken into four main categories 1 Vertebrate Pests#N#Have a backbone. Examples: Rodents, birds, reptiles, and other mammals 2 Invertebrate Pests#N#No backbone. Examples: Insets, spiders, ticks, slugs 3 Weeds#N#Any plant growing out of place. 4 Diseases#N#Fungi, bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms.

Do farmers have to be certified to apply pesticides?

In agriculture, if farmers are applying pesticides to control pests, they often have to be certified pesticide applicator, which means they have to take a test to obtain their pesticide license and attend meetings to learn more information about applying pesticides safely.

How do pesticides affect agriculture?

The increase in the world’s population in the 20th century could not have been possible without a parallel increase in food production. About one-third of agricultural products are produced depending on the application of pesticides. Without the use of pesticides, there would be a 78% loss of fruit production, a 54% loss of vegetable production, and a 32% loss of cereal production. Therefore, pesticides play a critical role in reducing diseases and increasing crop yi elds worldwide. Thus, it is essential to discuss the agricultural development process; the historical perspective, types and specific uses of pesticides; and pesticide behavior, its contamination, and adverse effects on the natural environment. The review study indicates that agricultural development has a long history in many places around the world. The history of pesticide use can be divided into three periods of time. Pesticides are classified by different classification terms such as chemical classes, functional groups, modes of action, and toxicity. Pesticides are used to kill pests and control weeds using chemical ingredients; hence, they can also be toxic to other organisms, including birds, fish, beneficial insects, and non-target plants, as well as air, water, soil, and crops. Moreover, pesticide contamination moves away from the target plants, resulting in environmental pollution. Such chemical residues impact human health through environmental and food contamination. In addition, climate change-related factors also impact on pesticide application and result in increased pesticide usage and pesticide pollution. Therefore, this review will provide the scientific information necessary for pesticide application and management in the future.

Why are pesticides important?

It is generally accepted that pesticides play an important role in agricultural development because they can reduce the losses of agricultural products and improve the affordable yield and quality of food [2,3,4]. Because of the urgency to improve food production and control insect-borne diseases, the development of pesticides increased during World War II (1939-1945). Additionaly, from the 1940s onwards, the increased use of synthetic crop protection chemicals permitted a further increase in food production [1]. Moreover, worldwide pesticide production increased at a rate of about 11% per year, from 0.2 million tons in the 1950s to more than 5 million tons by 2000 [5]. Three billion kilograms of pesticides are used worldwide every year [6], while only 1% of total pesticides are effectively used to control insect pests on target plants [1]. The large amounts of remaining pesticides penetrate or reach non-target plants and environmental media. As a consequence, pesticide contamination has polluted the environment and caused negative impacts on human health [1,7].

What are the factors that affect the adsorption of pesticides?

Various factors influence this soil absorption process. Some soil factors, including pH, organic matter [42,53,57,58], and soil amendment [59], impact the adsorption of pesticides. Moreover, soils rich in organic matter or clay are much more adsorptive to pesticides than coarse, sandy soils, because clay or organic soils either have a greater particle surface area, or more sites onto which insecticides can be bound [45,55,60,61] For example, the adsorption and desorption abilities of endosulfan may be related to the contents of clay and organic matter in the soil [46,62]. The study shows the sorption/desorption and mobility of strobilurin fungicides in three Chinese soils in the order of Jiangxi red soil > Taihu paddy soil > Northeast China black soil. The main reasons for this result are soil properties, including organic matter (SOM), pH, and cationic exchange capacity (CEC) influencing the adsorption/desorption of the fungicides. Moisture also influences the adsorption of pesticides in the soil [31]. Generally, dry soils absorb more insecticides than wet soils because water molecules compete with the insecticides for the binding sites in wet soils. Temperature is another factor that influences ammonium nitrogen adsorption [63]. The humic acid colloid also influences the adsorption of DDT in sediments [59,64].

Why do pesticides bind to soil?

In contrast, a large amount of pesticides reaches the soil, resulting in severe soil pollution [51,52]. The sorption process is a phenomenon that binds pesticides to soil particles due to the attraction between chemical and soil particles [51,53,54,55]. In addition, adsorption isotherms can be obtained according to the standard batch equilibration method (OECD106, 2000) and used for the assessment of pesticide retention in the environmental media [56].

What is photo degradation?

Photo-degradation is the degradation of pesticides by sunlight [50]. All insecticides are capable of photo-degradation to some extent, and the rate of degradation depends on the intensity of light, length of exposure, and the properties of the insecticide [31]. For example, niclosamide could hydrolyze to generate 5-chlorosalicylic acid and 2-chloro-4-nitroaniline under the effect of light [43].

How do pesticides help the environment?

In terms of public health, pesticides are used in daily life to kill pests, including mosquitoes, ticks, rats, and mice in houses, offices, malls, and streets. As a result, the immense burden of diseases caused by these vectors has been substantially reduced or eliminated [21,23,26]. Insecticides are often the most practical way to control insects that can spread deadly diseases such as malaria, possibly resulting in an estimated death count of 5000 deaths globally each day [17]. In addition, pesticides are indispensable in agricultural production. They have been used by farmers to control weeds and insects in agricultural cultivation, and remarkable increases in agricultural products have been reported as a result of pesticide use [1,27]. To cope with demographic growth, there has been a significant increase in agricultural yield since the beginning of the 20th century. Within one century, population growth increased from 1.5 billion in 1900 to about 6.1 billion in 2000, corresponding to a world population growth rate three times greater than during the entire history of humanity. Since 2003, the world’s population has increased by yet another billion, and given the current growth rates, it is projected to reach 9.4–10 billion by 2050 [5]. The increase in the world’s population in the 20th century could not have been possible without a parallel increase in food production. Although increases in food productivity have been due to several factors, including the use of chemicals, better plant varieties, and the use of machinery, pesticides have been an integral part of the process by reducing harvest losses caused by weeds, diseases, and insect pests [25]. About one-third of agricultural products are produced using pesticides. Without the use of pesticides, there would be a 78% loss of fruit production, a 54% loss of vegetable production, and a 32% loss of cereal production [27]. Therefore, pesticides play a critical role in reducing diseases and improving the increase in crop yields worldwide. Thus, they have made a significant contribution to alleviating hunger and providing access to an abundant supply of high-quality food.

What are the different types of pesticides?

Pesticides are classified by different classification terms such as chemical classes, functional groups, modes of action, and toxicity [20]. Firstly, pesticides are classified by different targets of pests, including fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, and rodenticides. For example, fungicides are used to kill fungi, insecticides are used to kill insects, while herbicides are used to kill weeds [21,22]. In terms of chemical classes, pesticides are classified into organic and inorganic ingredients. Inorganic pesticides include copper sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper, lime, and sulfur. The ingredients of organic pesticides are more complicated [23]. Organic pesticides can be classified according to their chemical structure, such as chlorohydrocarbon insecticides, organophosphorus insecticides, carbamate insecticides, synthetic pyrethroid insecticides, metabolite and hormone analog herbicides, synthetic urea herbicides, triazine herbicides, benzimidazole nematocides, metaldehyde molluscicides, metal phosphide rodenticides, and D group vitamin-based rodenticides. Figure 1shows the summary of the agricultural use of each class of pesticide in China [24].

What is a pesticide?

Pesticides are substances used to prevent, repel, or kill any pest.

What is the active ingredient in pesticides?

The active ingredient of a pesticide is usually the one material that does the most damage to the pest, in other words, the active ingredients have the capacity to kill living things. This is the reason why federal law mandates that these ingredients should be listed on the product’s label.

Can you mix herbicides?

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can apply, mix, or load the herbicide, it can still cause damage to nearby environment.

What is the herbicide called that is being sued?

For instance, a herbicide called Paraquat is currently being the target of many lawsuits in the United States.

Can pesticides cause adverse effects?

These adverse effects can only occur when people are exposed to large amounts of pesticide, and these residues tend to decline as they break down over time.

What is pesticide residue?

Pesticide residues are amounts of pesticide that may remain in foods after being applied to food crops.

How long does it take for a pesticide to cause long term health effects?

On the other hand, chronic or long-term health effects are delayed injuries or illnesses which may not appear until several years following pesticide exposure.

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