Crop protection products include herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and fertilizers that keep crops healthy so farmers can grow quality food.
Herbicides protect crops from weeds; insecticides protect crops from insects; and fungicides protect crops from diseases. Fertilizer consists of mostly naturally occurring nutrients to keep crops and soil healthy.
Up to 40 percent of the world’s crops are lost every year because of weeds, pests and diseases. Thankfully, with crop protection products, farmers in the United States and Indiana can protect their crops from losses.
Today’s crop protection products are regulated by federal and state agencies. Before farmers can use crop protection products, they must go through testing and become certified. Up to $256 million is spent to research and test new crop protection products before they reach the market.
The registration and approval process is so rigorous that only one in 139,000 crop protection products reach the marketplace. Crop protection products are tested to ensure the safety of food, people, wildlife and the environment while remaining effective in controlling weeds, diseases and harmful insects.
New technologies in farming, like precision agriculture, help farmers apply the right amount of crop protection products needed for their crops. They use these products efficiently to control weeds, insects and diseases without negatively affecting the land, air or water. Besides, crop protection products are expensive so farmers don’t want to use more than needed.
Farmers are continually reducing their impact on the environment. Soil erosion, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions per unit of production have all decreased in the last 30 years.
With fewer farmers now than in the past, today’s operations are larger, but more efficient than farms of the past. Technological and cultural practices have improved to streamline processes while using fewer resources than ever, which means that you can rest assured that farmers are working every day to improve the land and environment. We are proud to say that 97 percent of Indiana farms are still family farms.
Genetically modified seeds also contribute to a healthier farm environment. They require fewer resources, leading to reduced land use, greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, irrigation water, soil loss and pesticide, herbicide and fungicide spraying.