Globally, farmers lose 30 to 40 percent of their crops due to pests and diseases, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization. To help reduce these losses, farmers use an approach known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM) where they use the best combination of cultural, biological and chemical measures to keep their crops pest free. When it comes to chemical intervention, there are three main categories:
Herbicides: These kill or stop the growth of unwanted weeds. Worldwide, farmers have to contend with more than 30,000 species of weeds which fight with food crops for space, water and soil nutrients.
Insecticides: These kill insects and mites, such as these Bug Thugs. More than 10,000 species of plant-eating insects and 3,000 species of roundworms can attack farmers’ crops around the world leaving food damaged and inedible.
Fungicides: These destroy or prevent the growth of disease-causing fungi. There are more than 50,000 diseases that get inside crops and poison or kill plant cells.
Without chemical protection, global crop yields would be decimated – here’s a snapshot of what your local market might look like if farmers didn’t have this vital tool.