Pests and pesticides
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Pests and Pesticides. Since 1960: more food/acre Uses monoculture ; High-input farming Lots of water, pesticides and fertilizer Higher yield per acre. What’s the Green Revolution ?. Groundwater contamination Effects of low concentrations? Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification.

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Pests and Pesticides

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Pests and pesticides

Pests and Pesticides


What s the green revolution

  • Since 1960: more food/acre

    • Uses monoculture; High-input farming

    • Lots of water, pesticides and fertilizer

    • Higher yield

    • per acre

What’s the Green Revolution?


The problem with chemicals

Groundwater contamination

Effects of low concentrations?

Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification

The problem with chemicals


Pesticides pro and con

Pesticides Pro and Con

  • Kill unwanted pests that carry disease (rats, mosquitoes, Tse-Tse flies)

  • Increase food supplies

  • More food means food is less expensive

  • Effective and fast-acting

  • Newer pesticides are safer, more specific

  • Reduces labor costs on farms

  • Food looks better

  • Agriculture is more profitable

  • Accumulate in food chain

  • Pests develop resistance – 500 species so far

  • Resistance creates pesticide treadmill

  • Estimates are $5-10 in damage done for $1 spent on pesticide

  • Pesticide runoff

  • Destroy bees - $200 million

  • Threaten endangered species

  • Affect egg shell of birds

  • 5% actually reach pest

  • ~20,000 human deaths/year


Types of pesticides

  • Biological – Ladybugs, parasitic wasps, etc.

  • Carbamates effect nervous system of pests more water soluble than chlorinated hydrocarbons

    • Aldicarb, aminocarb, carbaryl (Sevin), carbofuran, Mirex

  • Chlorinated Hydrocarbons affect nervous system –

    • Aldrin, Chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, lindane and paradichlorobenzene

  • Fumigants are used to sterilize soil and prevent grain infestation

Types of Pesticides


Types of pesticides1

  • Inorganic – arsenic, copper, lead, mercury

    • Highly toxic and bioaccumulation

  • Organic or natural – derived from plants such as tobacco and chrysanthemum

  • Organophosphates – extremely toxic, low persistence

    • Malathion, parthion, chlophyrifos, acepate, propetamphos and trichlofon

Types of Pesticides


Integrated pest management

  • Some practices for preventing pest damage may include

    • inspecting crops and monitoring crops for damage

    • using mechanical trapping devices

    • natural predators (e.g., insects that eat other insects)

    • insect growth regulators

    • mating disruption substances (pheromones)

    • if necessary, chemical pesticides

Integrated Pest Management


Parts of ipm

Polyculture instead of monoculture

Intercropping – alternate rows of crops that have different pests

Planting pest-repellent crops

Mulch to control weeds

Natural insect predators – ladybugs, preying mantis, birds

Rotating crops to disrupt insect cycles

Using Pheromones to attract insects to traps

Releasing sterilized insects

Parts of IPM


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