Pesticides Carefully Controlled

The vast array of safe, nutritious foods available in your supermarket throughout the year doesn't happen by chance. Successful growers carefully manage their croplands and orchards to control about eighty thousand plant diseases, thirty thousand weed species, a thousand species of nematodes, and more than ten thousand insect species! In the United States alone, about $20 billion of crops (10 percent of our production) are lost yearly with these problems. If you've ever struggled with mildew, insects, weeds, and rodents in your own garden, just multiply the problem!

To produce high-quality produce with adequate yields, most farmers use some pesticides—either in the field or the grove, or just after harvest—to prevent mold or insect damage during transport or storage.

Without prudent use of pesticides, many farmers couldn't control crop damage from disease, insects, molds and fungi, weeds, and other pests. And their crop yields would be much lower. In spite of pesticide use, U.S. farmers annually lose a significant amount of crops because of damage from pests. That number would be far higher without careful use of pesticides.

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