Pesticides and Agricultural Soils
Farmers are invested in healthy soils because they want to grow vigorous crops to produce the most food they can. Pesticides have helped farmers boost production while maintaining healthy soils. Pesticides are used in agriculture to control weeds, insects and diseases. Many farms use integrated pest management techniques that minimize pesticide use.
When pesticides enter the soil environment, many things affect how long the pesticide will last and where it will go, including:
Pesticides in agriculture; what can you do?
- Pests can develop resistance to pesticides. Employing an IPM strategy can offer greater long-term success. IPM practices are designed to minimize impacts on the environment.
- Try to use pesticides that are specifically designed for the pest you are trying to control, rather than broad-spectrum pesticides. These are more likely to affect non-target organisms.
- Read the pesticide label, including the "Environmental Hazards" section. Make sure you are using the product properly to minimize the risks to the environment.
- Always dispose of unused pesticides properly.
If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (7:30am-3:30pm PST Mon.-Fri.), or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Soils - Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Site Evaluation on the Farm - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Agriculture: Pesticides - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Ecological Soil Screening Levels - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Soil Contaminants - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Safety Information for Soil Fumigant Handlers - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Risk Mitigation Measures for Soil Fumigant Pesticides - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Testing for Contaminants - Michigan State University Extension