Agrochemical products are essential agricultural inputs which are used to control pests and disease attack on crops, protect agricultural produce, increase crop yields, improve soil fertility and crop quality and help insure the investment of farmers on his crop. Read on more about their uses, importance and safe use.
What are agrochemicals?
Agrochemicals, also known as agrichemicals refers to an umbrella term covering many different types of chemicals engineered to prevent pests/diseases/pathogens from harming plants and crops and to increase yield quality and quantity.
Types and classification of agrochemical
Agrochemicals may include pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers, soil conditioners, algaecides etc. A brief introduction of these elements follow -
A chemical or substance developed to repel, control and destroy certain organisms such as insects, weeds, fungi, rodents and microbes that threaten cultivated plants is called pesticides.
Several insect types, including locusts, beetles, aphids, mealybugs thrips etc., which can inflict irreversible damage to humans, crop yields and farm animals. Insecticides are used to kill, repel, control and destroy insects.
The effect of fungi and fungal-like organisms (FLOs) on human nutrition, plant health, and food loss is severe. Fungicides are engineered to control fungal growth and stop them from inflicting damages.
Fertilizers can be chemical compounds or natural substances which are added to the soil to promote plant growth. They address the nutrient deficiency challenges of the soil and are applied to soil or plant tissues. Different types of fertilizers exist in their organic and inorganic variants.
Organic fertilizers are sourced from plant or animal-based materials through naturally occurring processes like manures, compost etc., whereas inorganic fertilizers, also known as synthetic fertilizers are manufactured artificially and may contain mineral or synthetic chemicals.
Products added to the soil to improve its physical qualities, usually its fertility and mechanics are soil conditioners.
Other than the above, molluscicides, algaecides etc., also come under agrochemical or agrichemical products.
While proper and judicious use of pesticides and other agrochemicals is essential for the safety of the soil and healthy life of consumers, their benefits in maximizing crop yield and plant growth cannot be ignored. Here are some essential benefits associated with agrochemicals -
One of the most powerful reasons farmers use agrochemical products is to increase the quality and quantity of Agri produce. Rightful use of selective pesticides, insecticides, soil conditioners, etc., can result in brighter and bigger fruits and vegetables. The chemicals can provide the soil with extremely important nutrients to grow steadily, producing food for all.
Agrochemicals can support a farmer’s ambition to grow certain species of plants while killing unwanted weeds and other harmful elements that consume resources in farmlands and hinder quality produce.
The world’s need for fresh and plentiful food is ever increasing. Agrochemicals can help increase yields from shrinking agricultural farmlands, thereby helping address the ever-growing demand of feeding more mouths.
Without pesticides and chemical fertilizers in use, harmful organisms would continue to grow and evolve unprecediently, seriously affecting the agricultural produce.
Rice blast for example is a big challenge to stable rice production, it is caused by a fungus named Magnaporthe oryzae which can affect different areas of the rice plant including leaf collars, seeds, leaves and nodes etc. Likewise rice sheath blight is another disease of rice plants caused by Rhizoctonia solani, which causes rice leaves to dry out and die quickly. It is a major rice plant disease and is a significant concern for rice production.
Sheath blight decreases crop yields and affects the quality of produce significantly. Synthetic chemical fungicides can help control the spread and growth of these fungus and improve production for better and heathier yields.
Pesticides can reduce the need for manual labour. For example, without specialized expertise, significant investment of time and effort, it is not practical to manually check each plant and the entire farmland for pests, insects and weeds and then engage to remove them. Pesticides can bring down time and effort in managing agricultural land and its produce within very insignificant investment of time, money and effort.
Simply put, agrichemical products can enhance the quality of crops, improve soil, keep a tab on the growth of pests and harmful organisms and help support crop protection. They can help manage the biotic and abiotic factors challenging the production of produce.
Read the label thoroughly before use. Understand the need, importance and applicability of all preventive measures and use the right personal protective equipment while using any pesticide from a trusted manufacturer. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions on safe storage, application and disposal of chemicals. For any query or confusion, always consult with an expert.
While looking to buy agrochemical products, always choose the ones from a reputed company. Consider talking to a professional for advice on which pesticide or other agrochemical products are well-positioned to tackle your pest problem.