Do you know up to 40% of crops are destroyed by pests, weeds, and diseases caused by them and there are 30,000 species of weeds that can leach on the growth of crops Moreover, 10,000 types of insects eat plants and can destroy the crop. These numbers can increase if we don’t act on the crops immediately. But needless to worry, different types of pesticides are available now that kill and control the breeding of pests and protect crops from damage.
Using pesticides is not an option, but a mere necessity, as not using them can cost farmers a waste of money, effort, and time. Moreover, with more crop wastage, there would be lesser food sufficiency, and 795 million people globally don’t have enough food to thrive. Thus, using a pesticide is not at all a choice.
Moreover, if you are convinced with the idea of spraying pesticides, let’s look below at what pesticides, their benefits, and types you must buy. Also, we will help you with the types of organic Pesticides you can switch to.
What are Pesticides?
Pesticide is a chemical-based substance to repel, control, and kill animal life or plant life, known as pests. They include a range of biological agents such as disinfectants, antimicrobials, bacteria, and viruses to control agricultural pests that can damage crops and livestock. While pests can involve fungi, rodents, slugs, insects, weeds, snails, bird mites, etc.
What are the Benefits of Pesticides?
Pesticides are the greatest innovation that saves farmers hard-earned productivity and efforts while cultivating. Moreover, they help protect crops and land from uninvited organisms or plants that leach all the nutrients of crops.
- Pesticides help control pests that can cause plant-based diseases.
- It avoids the inhibition of organisms that can cause human/livestock diseases.
- It helps control organisms that can disrupt human activities and structures.
Let’s talk in detail about the benefits of pesticide types used during the agriculture process.
1. More output with lesser land
Pesticides have been helping farmers use the land to grow more crops which increases productivity by 20-50%. Moreover, pesticides help farmers gain more benefits from inputs such as high-quality seeds, tools, fertilizers, nutrients, and other water resources. Also, pesticides help sustain high-quality crop production in lesser and limited lands.
2. Control waterborne transmission & insect-transmitted diseases
Since pesticides kill all varieties of pests in crops, land, and soil, the outbreak of harmful water borne or insect-based diseases gets eliminated.
3. Pesticides help save the environment
Pesticides allow lands to cultivate more crops/area with less tillage, which keeps soil erosion, deforestation, and natural resources in check. Also, it helps keep vicious weeds and plant species at bay.
4. Helping countries to become a breadbasket
With crop protection inputs like pesticides, farmers are able to grow 2-3 crops per year, which helps them serve as a breadbasket to countries with shorter crop production or growing season.
5. Saves post-harvests
Use of pesticides is not limited to just farm fields. The farmers can use them when the harvests are collected into storage. Furthermore, the type of pesticides helps prevent post-harvest losses and adds to the shelf life of the crop stored.
Furthermore, we know how pesticides benefit and add to farm productivity; let’s scroll to what are the types of pesticides used in agriculture by farmers extensively.
8 Different Types of Pesticides Used in Agriculture Commonly
Pesticides can be categorised into different types based on their purpose or the type of pests they are targeting. Let’s discuss the type and name of pesticides:
Herbicides prevent the growth of weeds that can leach the nutrients required by the crops for growing.
Furthermore, 2,4-D, Clethodim, Glyphosate, Bentazon, and Clethodim are a few types of pesticides which are a part of herbicides in agriculture.
As the name suggests, insecticides attack the nervous system of insects to restrict their inhibition or breeding.
Organophosphate, Carbamates, Nicotinoids, Fumigants, and Biorational are a few types of pesticides used as insecticides.
Fungicides help prevent fungi’s growth and help remove them completely. Also, they can easily decay in the soil in the presence of air.
Maneb, nabam, and cycloheximide are a few types of pesticides used as fungicides.
They are chemical substances used to control the inhabitation of rodents such as rats, mice, gophers, and even fish, birds, and mammals that can destroy crops.
Moreover, Chlorophacinone, diphacinone, brodifacoum, and bromadiolone are a few examples of rodenticides.
Larvicides are pesticides that control or restrict larvae or mosquito growth or restart their breeding to prevent vector-borne diseases like malaria.
Pesticides that typically restrict the inhabitation or spreading of molluscs such as snails, slugs and others.
Pesticides kill or restrict the spreading of harmful bacteria throughout crops and livestock.
These pesticides kill or restrict the growth of algae for better crop yield.
Moreover, now we have a list of pesticides and their uses, let’s venture into biodegradable and persistent pesticide types.
Are Pesticides Biodegradable?
There is a biodegradable and persistent type of pesticide.
- Biodegradable pesticides are environmentally friendly and can break down easily by microbes and other living organisms into compounds.
- Persistent pesticides are not easy to break down and can take months and years to break down into compounds.
Moreover, many farmers and individuals prefer to use organic pesticides to keep crops and harvests safe from harsh chemicals.
What are Organic Pesticides?
Organic pesticides are substances that come from organic sources such as botanical and mineral sources. However, they are not completely chemical-free but are less threatening than purely chemical-based pesticides.
Types of Organic Pesticides or Bio Pesticides
Organic or natural pesticides can be microbial, botanical, mineral-based, and biochemical-based.
Microbial pesticides include agents derived from fungi, algae, bacteria, or natural protozoans or viruses. Moreover, these pesticides limit the production of insects by releasing a toxin and infecting the population of insects.
Biochemical pesticides can be either manmade or naturally sourced. Also, they can disrupt the reproduction of insects and restrict their population.
Botanical pesticides come from plants that release toxins or release larvae to grub the flying insects. Furthermore, Pyrethrins, Nicotine, Neem, Rotenone, and sabadillas come from a few popular organic pesticides.
The mineral pesticides include sulphur and lime-sulphur, which restrict the growth and inhabitation of common insect pests.
Is Organic more Effective than Chemical Pesticide?
Pesticides, which are chemical based, can reduce the soil quality and nutritional aspects of the crops when used in high proportion. Thus, organic pesticides come into play as they are nature-based and do have chemical substances, but they are not toxic to the environment when used in nominal quantities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Que. What is the difference between Fertilisers and Pesticides?
Ans. Fertiliser is a chemical substance that makes land and soil fertile for better growth of crops. While pesticides are the chemical substance that protects the crop and land from pests that can infect the crops.
Que. What are the different types of pesticides?
Ans. Pesticides can be classified as herbicides that kill weeds, insecticides that kill insects, fungicides that prevent fungus, and rodenticides that prevent rodents from inhabiting.
Que. What pesticides are popular in agriculture?
Ans. Pesticides with specific synthetic chemicals used in agriculture are Acephate, glyphosate, Deet, Metaldehyde, Propoxur, Boric Acid, Diazinon, DDT, Dursban, Malathion, etc.
Que. What is the difference between pesticide and insecticide?
Ans. Pesticide is a broader term involving various pests that control the reproduction or inhabitation of weeds, bacteria, fungi, insects, and other detrimental micro-organisms. While insecticide is a type of pesticide that only controls insect growth and inhabitation.
Que. How long can pesticides sustain in soil?
Ans. Persistent pesticides can last for about a few months to 2-3 years in the soil before decomposing into benign compounds. However, their longevity in the soil can depend on their type and level of concentration in the soil.
Que. What are organic and chemical pesticides?
Ans. Organic pesticides come from plants and minerals and have less harsh chemical agents. Whereas chemical-based are created from chemical agents that kill or deter pests from thriving on crops, lands, or livestock.
Que. What is the difference between herbicides and pesticides?
Ans. Herbicides are a specific type of pesticide that controls and restricts the growth of weeds and unwanted vegetation on farm fields. Also, pesticides consist of a wide variety such as insecticides, herbicides, weedicides, molluscicides, and fungicides that control the growth of a variety of pests that can impact crop cultivation & harvests.
Que. What is the most common pesticide?
Ans. Chlorpyrifos is one of the most used pesticides introduced in 1965 which protects crops like corn, soybeans, apples, broccoli and others. In addition, this pesticide has applications even in non-agricultural settings like golf courses.
Que. Why do farmers need Pesticides?
Ans. Farmers need pesticides to protect their crops and land from a variety of pests such as insects, rodents, fungi, weeds, bacteria, and others that can disrupt the growth of crops. Furthermore, they help farmers to increase their crop yield and farm productivity by being able to grow 2-3 crops per year.
Que. What is an example of plant pesticides?
Ans. Some examples of plant pesticides are acephate, glyphosate, Propoxur, Deet, Metaldehyde, Diazinon, Boric Acid, DDT, Dursban, Malathion, etc.
This was the complete guide to what pesticides are, how they are helpful and some different types of pesticides used in agriculture popularly. So, we get it now: pesticide use is not a choice but a mere necessity.
With a variety of pests around and food security at stake, farmers can’t do without adopting the best pesticides and farming techniques to increase their crop quality and harvest. So it’s high time to get an agricultural pesticide list that can help increase farming yield and output.
Article Credit: Tractor Junction