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The Prows and Cons of Crop Dusting
Transcript of The Prows and Cons of Crop Dusting
Crop Dusting: The Pros and the Cons
Many people know of crop dusters. They are the little biplanes that fly over farmer's fields and spray crops
(e.g., wheat, corn) with pesticides. Pesticides like insecticides are chemicals that are used to keep insects from eating the crops. What used to be called crop dusting is now called "Aerial Application" or spraying crops with crop protection products .
Pros of Crop Dusting
Some pros of crop dusting are that the little plane can spray pesticides faster than humans can spray the crops on foot. Using these biplanes makes work for farmers less time consuming and less tiring (e.g., less labour intensive) than spraying the crops by hand. The pesticides that the planes spray also keep bugs off the crops and provides more crops for farmers to sell.
Cons of Crop Dusting
Crop dusters are very loud planes and that poses a problem for the environment. The loudness of the engine creates a lot of noise pollution. The planes also release a lot of pollution in the air when flown which can disrupt the ecosystems in the area. All this pollution contributes to global warming as it depletes the ozone layer. Also, the biplane canot be precise in spreading the pestisides directly onto the crops so some chemicals spread where they are not wanted or needed.
Crop Duster Pollution
More Environmental Impacts...............
The pesticides that the crop dusters spray are also hazardous to people who work with them. Pesticides are known to cause cancer over a long period of time. The pesticides that crop dusters drop are also known to drift away from the fields and pollute water and soil. This has serious affects on our food chains and biodiversity.
Pesticides = Problems
All pesticides are poisons designed to kill something. Farmers started depending on pesticides about 50 years ago. At first scientists thought that pesticides were short cuts to pest problems and that they couldn't hurt animals or people. Now we know pesticides can pollute our drinking water, lakes and streams. In big enough amounts like crop dusting, it can poison wildlife, birds and even good insects (the kind that eat pest insects).
Some Alternatives to Pesticides
- spray the crops with hot water ( this costs
the same amount of money as spraying with pesticides but is less harmful to the environment)
-use fake crops to draw the bugs away from the real crops or cultivate the land (rotate the crops) each year.