Globally, farmers lose 30-40 percent of their crops due to pests and diseases, according to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization.
To produce a good yield of a high quality, producers must protect their crop against insects, diseases and weeds. Small grain diseases affect production by reducing the yield and impairing the quality. To maximize profits, producers need to understand the influences that diseases may have on the crop potential. A single fungal pathogen may attack a range of small grains, while other small grain pathogens may be confined only to infecting a specific host. Additionally, cultivars may vary in their susceptibility to different diseases.
Like all agricultural innovations, crop protection products have evolved tremendously since their inception. From natural chemical elements to plant- and metal-based insecticides to synthetic products, formulations have drastically changed and for the better: today’s products are more sustainable, targeted, efficient and environmentally friendly than their predecessors.
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.
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