The news - Crop protection can also be delivered
Crops require more than just water and nutrients. In modern agriculture, crops are given regular doses of crop protection products. The conventional way of applying crop protection products involves spraying from a plane or a tractor. When you spray, you have no control over the drifting of spray materials to areas adjacent to the agricultural areas being treated. You also risk runoff or leaching of dangerous chemicals into the groundwater. When chemicals find their ways to non-targeted plants, groundwater and nearby animals, the delicate ecosystem is compromised.
In recent years crop protection companies have developed unique products that can be applied through drip systems in a way that provides plants the protection they need while eliminating drifting and reducing application rates. Be it to control ground-borne pests and diseases that need to be controlled, or in other cases, application of systemic protective substances that allow plants to fight back against foliar or fruit attacking pests.
Using drip to deliver crop protection products and herbicides offers many other benefits:
- Lower operational costs and less complexity for the farmer.
- Real time reaction when identifying a crop disease - treatment through the drip delivery system can be applied immediately, whilst tractors and airplanes would take several days.
- Easier accessibility to every infield plant at any time and at any crop development stage.
- Safer for the farmer due to less chemical exposure.
- Better for the consumer’s health as there’s no residue left on the plants.
- When working in highly populated areas the risk of wind-drift of substances towards habitants is eliminated.
Some countries have already realized the hazardous impacts of the existing application of plant protection products. In 2016 Italy’s Ministry of Health placed a number of restrictions on the use of Glyphosate, one of the world’s most ubiquitous herbicides, in areas frequented by the public or by "vulnerable groups" including children and the elderly. In 2014, France’s senate approved a proposed law that would enable local authorities to force winemakers - and farmers in general - to refrain from spraying pesticides next to “vulnerable people” and to set a minimum distance between pesticide spraying and public building.