Impact Of Agrochemicals On The Environment
We have seen a lot of advancements in the fertilizer industry over the last few decades, which has led to numerous new agrochemical approaches for various types of crops. If you can use these approaches appropriately, they can help you in a lot of areas such as controlling pests, reducing disease, and preventing the growth of any unnecessary weeds that can harm the soil.
As you might know, agrochemicals are quite toxic in nature, so while you’re spraying these elements on your crops, only a small amount is actually used to prevent pests and weeds. Most of it ends up contaminating the soil and water bodies surrounding your crops. And, this obviously has some adverse effects on the ecosystem surrounding that area.
Today, in the article, we will try to bring some light to the detrimental effects of agrochemicals on our environment.
Effects Of Agrochemicals On Targeted Organisms
Of Course, agrochemicals can be an ideal choice to deal with those weeds and pests, and help you get a better harvest. But, you have some things that you need to keep in mind. For instance, if the dosage of the agrochemicals you’re spraying is incorrect, those pests might start adapting to the environment and can cause more harm to your crops than before. They might try migrating to the neighboring fields or can even start to mutate to deal with the toxic conditions in your field.
On top of that, the pests or weeds that got mutated developed a strong resistance to pesticides in general, along with strong reproductive abilities. This implies that the mutated pests can spread much faster than the normal ones. So, it can be devastating for your crops in the long term.
Effects Of Agrochemicals On Soil, Air, and Water
As we have mentioned earlier, any type of agrochemical can be toxic in nature, which means it can contaminate the surrounding soil and water. And when we come in contact with those, it can have adverse effects on our health.
Any type of soil is judged by its fertility, as the more fertile the soil is the better will be the harvest. And, the element that is responsible for making the soil fertile is nitrogen. There are certain bacterias that maintain the levels of nitrogen in the soil, however, when they are exposed to those toxic agrochemicals, it can completely wipe out the population of those bacterias in the area. And, once that happens, there’s no one to regulate the levels of nitrogen or other elements in the soil. This can even cause loss of fertility and can make those fields go barren.
Similar to bacteria, there are earthworms which also play an essential role in maintaining the fertility of the soil. The main thing they do is decompose any organic matter that might be present in the soil, which also acts as natural manure for the plants. They also help to make the soil porous, which makes it easier to dig up intricate water channels for irrigation. However, toxic pesticides can also kill those earthworms, and act as a roadblock to this natural process.
As you spray these toxic agrochemicals over your crops, they can obviously contaminate the air around that area. This can have some adverse effects on the health of those individuals who are living nearby that field. Apart from that, when that contaminated air moves towards the nearby forests, it can affect a lot of insects or bees that act as pollinators around that area. And this can cause a great loss of plant habitat around that area. Using agrochemicals even in a small part of the field can cause a huge ripple effect disrupting the entire ecosystem of that area.
The air, inadvertent spills, rainwater runoff from polluted soil, and cleaning the sprinkling equipment after usage are all ways by which the pesticide residues might end up in the nearby rivers and lakes. The overuse of pesticides can also cause nitrate, a chemical toxic to both people and animals in high doses, to contaminate the groundwater in that area.
And, on top of affecting the individuals living in the nearby settlements. The contaminated water can also be exposed to the nearby livestock, which might drink water from those lakes and rivers. Moreover, these toxic chemicals have been proven to contribute to fish mortality, which can affect the livelihood of many fisheries around that area.
Despite having some advantages of using agrochemicals, we can’t turn a blind eye to the ill effects on our environment. Of course, using agrochemicals can seem cost-effective and they don’t even require a lot of labor, however, it’s high time that we start using some other natural alternatives to deal with pests. This is the only way to stop our fields from going permanently barren.