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Chemical crop protection
Industrialization and mechanization changed humanity more and more in the past centuries. Mechanizations that enable ever higher yields have also been introduced in agriculture.
In order to rationalize sowing, care and harvesting, large monocultures were created in the fields. While individual pests were previously negligible, the subject of pest control has now come to the fore. Due to global trade, new pests without natural enemies appeared in addition to domestic ones. Chemical crop protection was developed to avoid this. The active ingredients (generally pesticides) are mostly applied by spraying. In addition, insects and weeds used to be simply picked up or uprooted. But this was soon no longer possible with the large number of pests, so that only the application of chemicals brought the hoped-for protection. For a long time, therefore, large harvests were synonymous with the preventive use of large quantities of chemicals with devastating consequences for the environment and human health.
The most famous pests are insects, fungi and viruses. Rodents, snails, mites and roundworms are less well known, which often open the surface of the plant by browsing and allow other pests to penetrate. Since there is no panacea in crop protection, a specific remedy has to be developed for each pest species - not without causing new problems.
Pest control does not only take place in the fields. In order to prevent the plants from being attacked by pests from the outset, the seeds must also be protected from infection and damage from eating during storage.