Humans are doing agriculture for thousands of years. From the very beginning in the stone age over the antique until today, the agricultural capabilities of humans developed massively over time. Coming from a self-sufficient approach, agriculture has long since developed into its own industry. Modern agriculture, with the breeding of plants, the use of agrochemicals and technological progress, have contributed to a steady increase in agricultural yields.
What are agrochemicals?
Agrochemicals are agricultural chemicals with either a supportive or destructive function. Know agrochemicals are, for example, pesticides which are either herbicides, fungicides or insecticides. These agrochemicals have a destructive function as they kill for example insects or parasitic fungi. Other products like fertilizer, hormones or chemical growth agents have a supportive function. These natural or synthetic products supply essential nutrients to support the growth of plants. However, many agrochemicals are toxic. The chemicals are capable of causing significant environmental damage and health risks. Especially in case of accidental release. Therefore, the use of pesticides is heavily regulated in many countries. Government-issued permits may be required for purchase and use.
Is there an alternative to chemicals?
Another approach to creating further agricultural yield are genetically modified organisms. For example, plants are modified to be strengthened in their resistance against beetles or fungi. This approach is widespread and part of modern agriculture. However, not every product is allowed and the use is discussed.
As we have seen, today it is even more important to practice a sustainable and environmentally friendly farming approach. However, with the reduction of environmental impacts, the yield of agriculture must be ensured to produce enough food and nutrition for all people and animals. At the same time, companies have to be competitive and develop their agricultural capabilities and agriculture technology further.
Find out more about how companies in the chemical industry are dealing with these challenges today in our blog posts.