Agriculture - - Currents - >BY DR. RAFAEL D. GUER­RERO III

CROP PRO­DUC­TION in agri­cul­ture re­quires ef­fec­tive con­trol of plant pathogens, weeds, and in­ver­te­brates like in­sects that can re­duce yields up to 50%. There are about 67,000 species of plant pests. The con­ven­tional pes­ti­cides (com­pounds for con­trol­ling pests) used con­tain chem­i­cals that are not only toxic to tar­get species but can also be toxic to ben­e­fi­cial or­gan­isms and per­sist in the en­vi­ron­ment for a long time. Biopes­ti­cides (bi­o­log­i­cal pes­ti­cides) that are pro­duced from nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als from an­i­mals, plants, bac­te­ria, and min­er­als are an al­ter­na­tive to chem­i­cal pes­ti­cides.

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