Crop protection is the practice of removing weeds, adjusting weather and eliminating pests. It may include managing everything that inhibit the growth of fruit, vegetables and all farm produce.
It is highly important because through this, higher quality crops are produced and wastage is reduced. The increased crop production through proper crop protection leads to less use of resources like land, water and labor. With less usage of land, biodiversity is preserved. Through this, more farm crops and produce actually reach the markets, keeping the prices low.
If farmers were to stop methods of crop protection, according to UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), around 40 percent will be lost due to pests and plant diseases.
An approach called integrated Pest Management (IPM) is helpful in reducing the wastage of farm resources. In IPM, they combine the best cultural, biological and chemical measures to keep pest and diseases away from the crops.
There are several ways and approaches to successful plant protection:
First, we use herbicides to kill unwanted plants and weeds. Weeds can be a real problem because they contest with the food crops for nutrients and space.
Plant-eating insects and roundworms attack the farm crops leaving these damaged and inedible. To eliminate these harmful insects, we use insecticides.
Lastly, we use fungicides for fungi that cause serious disease and damage to agriculture.
Biological Pest Control
With biological means of pest control, we manage weeds, insects and diseases by using other living organisms. We make use of beneficial insects that perform these valued services. You may refer to this link to learn more about beneficial insects.
We can also opt for this method in which we create barriers between plants and potential harmful pests, weather and diseases. We have bird netting, micromesh and the likes. We can also employ electronic pest deterrents.