May 10, 2017 - Farmers Don't Necessarily Need Pesticides to be Productive



Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - A study recently published in Nature Plants analyzed the pesticide use, productivity and profitability of 1,000 farms across France.  The report may have disproven the long held belief that pesticides are necessary for highly productive and profitable farms.

Not only did they find that production would not suffer on 94 percent of farms if they stopped using pesticides, but even more shockingly, that 78 percent of farms would be equally or more profitable if they used less pesticides on their crops.

The study is a strong rebuke to the myth that pesticides are a necessity for well-functioning farms, but it’s not the first study to come after the billion dollar pesticide industry: In January of this year, the UN issued a report stating that pesticides cause “catastrophic impacts on the environment and human health” and accusing pesticide companies of refusing to acknowledge how harmful these chemicals can be.

Although mounting research points to the fact that pesticides don't make for good crops, the Guardian reports that most farms in Europe still use them.

Nicolas Munier-Jolain, of France’s National Institute for Agricultural Research, who helped write the study, told the Guardian that farmers aren’t getting advice on how to replace pesticides.  He said, “A large proportion of advice is provided by organizations that are both selling the pesticides and collecting the crops. I am not sure the main concern of these organizations is to reduce the amount of pesticide used.”

The study’s authors stated, “The reduction of pesticide use is one of the critical drivers to preserve the environment and human health.”

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