Monday, 13 February 2012

5.4a Pesticides

Understand the reasons for pest control and the advantages of using pesticides and biological control with crop plants.

Pesticides:
Large fields of crops of the same type are called Monoculture. Monocultures tend to be really susceptible to pests which uses the crops as their own food source. By doing so, this reduces the productivity of the farm which reduces the amount of crop yield and has an financial impact on the farmer as less is produced.
To overcome this, one of the solutions is to use pesticides (chemicals used to kill the pests)

Advantages:

  • Pesticides are chemicals which makes it easy to obtain.
  • They are easy to apply.
  • They are very effective.

Disadvantages:
  • Many of the chemicals are toxic, they may kill other plants and animals, other than the pests which may be harmful to humans as well.
  • Bio accumulation is where the pesticides build up through the food chain causing problems for animals in the higher trophic levels. 
  • Mutation in the pest often lead to resistance so the pesticide will need to be applied at a higher level, in some cases, the pests have complete resistance to the pesticide and so the farmers have to find an alternative pesticide.

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