With conventional farming methods, chemical fertilizers are highly utilized for the growth of crops. In the U.S. 60% of chemicals used in agricultural production are herbicides while 27% are insecticides.
However, even the most effective pesticides cannot function efficiently without harmfully disturbing the crops and reducing the fertility of the land. Therefore, more and more farmers are implementing aquaponics. This farming method allows farmers to grow crops without having to apply herbicides and pesticides.
Heavy Chemical Usage
Globally, an estimated 1.8 billion people engage in agricultural activities with the majority using chemicals to keep pests and weeds off their crops. Agricultural chemicals are formulated to prevent, repel, destroy, mitigate or repel weeds, rodents, microorganisms and insects. Every year, an estimated 5.6 billion pounds is used globally while more than one billion pounds of pesticides are applied to crops in the U.S. alone. Between 1960 and 2008 the number of herbicides used in the U.S. has significantly increased.
Far Reaching Effects
Per the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the use of agricultural chemicals to control insects, weeds and other pests has led to increased food production and a decrease of insect-borne diseases. However, this has raised serious questions on the adverse effects these chemicals have on peopleâs health, the environment and water quality. In a 2006 study to determine the level of pesticides in water sources, the USGS detected high levels of agricultural pesticides in water samples drawn from streams within agricultural regions. The use of chemicals usedÂ has far reaching effects than benefits.