“In agriculture, not every problem is going to result in the use of a chemical. A lot of times it may result in the use of a technology, or a tool, and we have those as well, whereas around the home, most often, that’s a lazy man’s tool.”
Dr. Don Renchie teaches continuing education classes to pesticide applicators.
“If you can give them information that helps them do a more effective job at it, for example today, calibrating their sprayers, so that they don’t have off target movement of the pesticides contaminating the environment or harming other people’s property, as well as making more direct target applications, it really does save money and make them more efficient.”
Pesticides are usually associated with herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and rodenticides.
“But there’s another class of pesticides known as disinfectants, and as a matter of fact, there’s about 1.2 billion pounds of those products used on an annual basis, as compared to both industry, government, homeowners, and agriculture, 1.2 billion pounds of those conventional use pesticides.”
And some homeowners believe if a little bit is good, a lot must be better.
“Those of us that are around the house, we generally use more volume for the acreage treated than we in agriculture, so while we in agriculture may account for 85% of the herbicide use, herbicides around the home are not used to produce anything to eat, they’re simply used as a lazy man’s tool to make things look better.”
Renchie says profit margins in agriculture are too small for producers to waste money on chemical use if they’re not absolutely necessary.
“I think we all know farming and ranching is a game of throwing money on the ground and praying something good will come out of it.”
I’m Bob French, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From the Ground Up.