There are many elements that the farming industry has to battle with to grow healthy crops, from irrigation and bad weather to ever changing markets and demands.
There is, however, one thing they can control; how to tackle pests and diseases destroying their produce.
Managing pests is a large part of the agricultural industry, and it is vital to get it right; quality and quantity of harvests will suffer if pests aren’t properly managed. There has long been a dependence on chemical methods of destroying pests and diseases, but thankfully the trend is shifting.
Chemical pesticides frequently end up in a destination other than their target species, because they are sprayed or spread across entire agricultural fields. This can have devastating consequences on surrounding areas, potentially affecting species other than the pesticide was intended for.
Luckily, nature has an answer. Biopesticides are a natural solution to chemical pesticides; they use natural enemies to manage insect pests and disease for different crops grasses. They are crop protection agents based on living micro-organisms or natural products and cause no harm to the crops or other insects.
We present you with 3 take away reasons why using biopesticides in agriculture is the way forward for the world.
1. Ease of Use
Chemical pesticides are toxic, and there is always a recommended period for which you are not allowed back in sprayed fields which can be up to 24 hours.
Biopesticides have been developed to be applied in a similar way as chemical pesticides, which is no longer a barrier to using biological applications. There is no waiting time between spraying a field with a biological product, which means more productive time.
Spraying crops with pesticides, or using pesticides in the soil, can leave residue on produce, and are potentially toxic to humans depending on the level of exposure.
Biopesticides are not harmful to humans or the crops, and there is no damage or residue left on the produce. By matching the correct natural enemy to the pest, nature takes its course in destroying the pest and nothing else.
Over time and a multitude of applications, pests build up genetic resistance to widely used pesticides. They have adapted over a period to become resistant to the pesticides, so the chemicals become less and less effective. This is a huge problem for growers, as they are in danger of losing existing methods to manage their pest problems.
Biopesticides are a dependable solution in this instance, as pests don’t develop ‘chemical resistance’ to biopesticides so these products don’t become less effective over time.
With the dissolution of barriers around practicalities of using biopesticides, this method of pest management is seeing growth in the agricultural sector. With biopesticides being non-toxic to humans and not harmful to crops or neighbouring species, we should see this over taking chemical pesticides as the pest management tool of choice.