Crop protection technology such as pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides prevent thousands of harmful insects, diseases, and weeds from damaging crops.
Fertilizers such as phosphorus, potassium, urea, and lime also help increase crop yields by replacing nutrients. All of these different agricultural chemicals are essential to farming.
While agricultural chemicals provide a lot of benefits, there are also some serious consequences if they are not properly handled. It is very important to know how to properly handle, mix, store, and apply agricultural chemicals. If not, these chemicals can easily contaminate surface water through improper storage, chemical drift, or field runoff.
To prevent accidental contamination of water sources, you can:
- Mix, handle, and store these chemicals away from wells, streams, lakes, and other waterways.
- Install anti-backflow devices on equipment and storage tanks to prevent spillage or leakage.
- Check all hoses and connections.
- Store in approved storage containers with clear visible labels.
- These chemicals should also be secured under lock since they are highly poisonous. If not properly secured, unauthorized people or even children could easily harm themselves or the environment.
- Farmers should also be mindful on when they are going to apply agricultural chemicals using a spraying rig. Wind and strong breezes can easily carry chemicals into nearby water sources or neighboring fields which could damage other crops.