The Pros & Cons of Pesticides & Fertilizers

For the past 10,000 years, humans have functioned to domesticate plants and also to develop farming methods that have evolved into agriculture as we know it today. These ancient farmers provided their communities with food and fiber, and little altered in their practices for millennia. The Industrial Age, however, brought about fundamental changes in agriculture, including the introduction of manufactured pesticides and fertilizers. All these changes have agricultural and economic advantages but also have caused environmental issues.

Agricultural Benefits

Usage of pesticides and fertilizers has agricultural advantages. Plants feed off dirt nutrients needed for their healthy growth and development. Over time, if these nutrient supplies are not replenished, soil will likely probably be incapable of sustaining plant life. Fertilizers are utilized to put these nutrients back into the ground. Organic fertilizers such as livestock manure improve soil quality, however they release nutrients slowly. Generated fertilizers, on the other hand, give dirt the quick boost required during the growing season. Pesticides also provide an agricultural benefit by controlling pests that may damage or kill plants, saving at least 8 percent of plants annually.


Usage of modern day agricultural practices like synthetic fertilizers and pesticides provides economic advantages. By way of instance, crop yields are considerably increased, lowering production costs and making food less expensive. In addition, sufficient food can be increased to support an increasing population, keeping people healthy and productive. Artificial fertilizers deliver nutrients more uniformly and efficiently, are less expensive and may be transported more readily than organic soil amendments. Pesticide production is a multibillion-dollar sector, and 40 percent of that manufactured in the USA is sold and exported elsewhere.

Toxicity and Environmental Problems

The professionals of pesticide and fertilizer use are offset by the issues linked to their toxicity. As an instance, pesticides used to protect plants from dangerous insects frequently kill beneficial insects. Runoff of chemicals used in pesticides and fertilizers can drain into streams and lakes, and finally our water supplies. Excess nitrogen from fertilizer runoff may cause excessive algae growth in rivers and lakes. Pesticides may also negatively impact the health of people who use them, in addition to people who live near large agricultural areas, not to mention those that eat food treated with chemical pesticides. As many as 20,000 Americans suffer from pesticide poisoning each year, as well as the World Health Organization quotes 1 to 5 thousand people worldwide are affected by pesticide poisoning annually.


Genetic resistance is an issue associated with the use of pesticides. The number of weeds and pest insects that are very resistant to one pesticide has increased fivefold since the 1950s. As a result, despite certain agricultural advances, more crops these days are destroyed by pests than from the 1940s.

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