We would use more land, more fertilizer, more pesticides, and more water without crop protectants.
With total food demand expected to increase 70 percent by 2050 – and food prices expected to rise as much as 100 percent during that time—sustainable agriculture will not just be instrumental, but critical, to increase productivity in the face of significant environmental constraints and challenges. (Source: FAO.org) Crops compete with 80,000 plant diseases, 30,000 weed species, 10,000 insects and 3,000 worms. We would spend 30 – 40% more of our income on food without crop protectants.
The world population is expected to peak at 8.5 billion people in 2035, from today’s 6 billion. The world must produce as much food in the next 40 – 80 years as the past 12,000 years – and on less land. Only 7% of Earth’s surface is available for farming.
Soil fumigation plays a key role in helping us to use our resources wisely. Pest-free and productive soil is crucial to efficient use of land, water, and energy resources for specialty crops such as nuts, berries, and stone fruit. Productive, healthy plants require less fertilizer, less pesticides, and less water. This is due to a healthy root system; healthy root systems get their start in clean soil. Plant diseases such as wilt are a sign that the roots and/or the vascular system have stopped functioning properly and can’t take in water. At that point, much of the water used, is wasted. We don’t have water to waste.
Improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gases.
Growing crops remove carbon dioxide from the air via photosynthesis and root absorption. Crops grown in healthy soil conditioned by fumigation have increased yields and plant vigor, and, thus, remove more carbon dioxide from the air than crops grown on non-fumigated land. Depending on the crop, plants grown in clean soil can remove significantly more pounds – (3,000 – 5,000 pounds) – of carbon dioxide from the air per planted acre than crops grown on non-fumigated land. How about that for helping to make things a little greener.