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Crop Protection Facts

Today, growers of many U.S. crops hire independent professional consultants to manage their product use and only request applications of crop protection products when a problem arises. They also use products that are specific to the pests present. This has led some crops, like cotton, to reduce product applications from 20 or 40 applications per year down to 4 or 5.

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Increasing Food Production

Food production capacity is faced with an ever-growing number of challenges, including a world population expected to grow to nearly 9 billion by 2050 and a falling ratio of arable land to population. Among the benefits of using pesticides for crop protection is that these products are vital to increasing food production.Some 20 to 40 percent of the world's potential crop production is already lost annually because of the effects of weeds, pests and diseases (according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations or FAO). These crop losses would be doubled if existing pesticide uses were abandoned, significantly raising food prices.Even after harvest, crops are subject to attack by pests or diseases. Bugs, rodents or molds can harm grains. In addition to increasing crop yields, crop protection products used in stored products can also prolong the viable life of produce, prevent huge post-harvest losses from pests and diseases, and protect food so it is safe to eat.The crop protection industry’s primary aim is to enable farmers to grow an abundant supply of food in a safe manner and prevent costs from increasing. Food production processes benefit from continual advancements in agricultural technologies and practices; in fact, a population now nearly twice as large has more food available per capita than 40 years ago. Tools such as herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides reduce crop losses both before and after harvest, and increase crop yields.A plentiful supply of fresh produce is vital for a healthy population. Numerous scientific studies demonstrate the health benefits of regularly eating a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables and consumers are increasingly aware of these benefits. Agricultural productivity is key to ensuring that this demand can be met at an affordable price; and crop protection products help increase productivity and usable crop yields.

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