Pesticides offer protection for crops
Crop protection products – or pesticides, as they are also called – help farmers protect their crops. This is important because unless crops are protected from insects, weeds and diseases, the amount of food that gets harvested will decrease significantly.
A recent study commissioned by CropLife Canada revealed that annual losses for Canada's most successful fruit crops would total more than $500 million, because close to 70 per cent of the crops would be lost to one pest pressure or another.
Vegetable growers face similar challenges. They face intense pressures from diseases like mildews and botrytis, a fungus that shows up as grey mould on produce making it unsellable, as well as from insects such as aphids and caterpillars.
Without pesticides to protect these crops, Canadian farmers would lose about $360 million worth of vegetables every year.
For example, in Prince Edward Island – Canada's largest potato producing region – farmers would lose more than 50 per cent of their crops to diseases and insects without pesticides as protection.
Pesticides are regulated by Health Canada to ensure that they will not harm either the farmer who uses them or those of us eating the foods grown with the help of pesticides. Health Canada also assesses all pesticides to make sure that they will not have detrimental impacts on the environment when they are used according to label directions.
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