In agricultural industries, pesticides are essential to maximizing the yield of farmers’ crops. For those outside of this line of work, it can be difficult to fully appreciate the benefits that pesticides offer. Yes, you may already know that using pesticides ensure that more food is grown for human consumption, and that certain illnesses have fewer opportunities to spread.
However, that is not the only reason pesticides are useful. Given the recent, dramatic changes our planet has gone through, experts are striving to convince all of us to “go green” in whatever way possible. For many of us, that means driving less frequently, investing in energy-efficient appliances, and making other lifestyle changes to reduce our carbon footprints.
For farmers, though, climate change offers yet another reason to make use of pesticides. For example, anyone who makes a living working in agriculture knows that they have to produce a certain amount of food each season. By using pesticides, farmers prevent pests from ruining significant portions of their crops. As a result of this efficiency, they don’t have to convert more neighboring lands into farmland. This leads to a variety of social benefits.
Pesticides Enable the Advancement of Civilization
Agriculture is among the greatest innovations in the history of humankind. Prior to developing the ability to grow food reliably and regularly, hunter-gatherer societies were prevalent. With the introduction of agriculture, however, communities could establish permanent communities. This led to the development of medicine, art, extended family units, and a vast number of other advances that we now take for granted.
Pesticides made agriculture even more effective at strengthening a society. Most obviously, they kept animals and insects from eating crops. This allows farmers to create more food for the human population, which, quite simply, helps a civilization to flourish.
Pesticides Prevent Disease
There’s also the matter of disease prevention. In many parts of the world, mosquitoes and other pests can spread illnesses like malaria. This is a particular danger when they’re drawn to crops. However, when farmers use pesticides, disease-causing pests are much less of a problem.
Already, it’s clear that these products play a major role in keeping people healthy. However, they’re also very useful when it comes to preventing hunger.
Pesticides Improve Crop Yields and Prevent Hunger
Farms are unlike any other manufacturing plants in the world. If the factory where your television was built fails to produce enough units to hit its projected goals, the consequences are fairly minimal - maybe the company suffers some quarterly losses.
On the other hand, if farms don’t produce enough food, people go hungry. As such, farmers know they need to take all the steps necessary to maximize the yield of their crops.
Before pesticides, this often meant using additional land. If pests were regularly depleting farmers’ harvests, they couldn’t simply accept their losses. People still needed food on the table. Because of this, those who worked in agricultural industries were often forced to cut down trees, displace animal communities, and destroy natural habitats in order to convert neighboring lands into more farmland. They simply had no other options.
Pesticides Allow the Preservation of Wild Ecosystems
Pesticides, thankfully, changed that. When farmers began using these products and strategies, they found that pesticides reliably kept insect and animal populations from consuming food that was meant for human use. As a result, instead of needing to expand their operations, they could work within the existing boundaries of their farms, leaving more of the natural world intact.
Again, most consumers already understand that pesticides are often used in order to produce more food and prevent health problems. However, that’s far from the only benefit they offer to society. Keeping people fed is important, but so is preserving the planet.
That’s one of the many reasons pesticides continue to play such a major role in agriculture. Already, they serve to help farmers more effectively feed the world. By reducing the need to expand the borders of farms, pesticides also help to ensure that the world itself stays healthy and wild ecosystems remain intact.
Future Pesticide-Related Innovations
Of course, innovations never cease in agricultural industries. From the days of early farming societies right up until today, humankind has consistently found new ways to crop yields. It’s safe to say that this will also be the case with pesticides. As we learn more about how to protect our food from insects and animals, we’ll also learn more about how to protect our planet.
It probably goes without saying, but that’s good for everyone.