How do pesticides used in conventional farming affect the environment?

Impact on the environment Pesticides can contaminate soil, water, grass and other vegetation. In addition to killing insects or weeds, pesticides can be toxic to many other organisms, such as birds, fish, beneficial insects and plants that are not the target. The use of conventional pesticides in agriculture and landscaping contaminates the soil and its respective compartments. The use of synthetic chemicals and fertilizers to maintain crop production and productivity has a detrimental effect on the health of ecosystems.

While organic agriculture strategies avoid the use of synthetic chemicals, some organic farms manage land with a history of using pesticides in the past. Therefore, this study aims to compare the amounts of pesticides and their influence on soil health in conventional and organic farming practices, including land in transition to organic. It doesn't deeply consider the many benefits (of organic potential) or the many long-term costs of biocidal products and “conventional agricultural practices”. This comparison measures the relative impact relationship between organic and conventional agriculture, according to which a value of 1.0 means that the impact of both systems is the same; values greater than 1.0 mean that the impacts of organic systems are greater (worse) (for example, a value of 2.0 would mean that organic impacts were twice as high as conventional ones); and values lower than 1.0 mean that conventional systems are worse (a value of 0.5 means that conventional impacts are twice as high).

Certified organic does not mean that they are pesticide-free. Organic crops are sprayed with non-synthetic pesticides approximately 5 times more than conventional ones. While researchers and the general public remain divided on whether organic agriculture is more sustainable than conventional agriculture, Sonali McDermid, an adjunct professor in the Department of Environmental Studies at New York University, says that it is very difficult to generalize any agricultural system or to label conventional or organic agriculture as “good” or “bad”. Keep in mind that organic crop yields are approximately 35% lower than conventional crops (USDA data), so it follows that for every bushel of organic food produced, there is a 35% larger footprint; 35% more water is used; and more fertilizers, pesticides (yes, even organic ones) and labor are used.

The unintentional presence of synthetic chemicals in organic agriculture is a very common phenomenon affecting organic farmers and gardeners around the world. In general, organic agriculture is considered to be a much more sustainable alternative when it comes to food production. Beyond pesticides, April 1, 2020 The legacy of the use of toxic pesticides in agriculture is appearing as waste on organic farms, highlighting the threat posed by a history of weak regulatory rules that have left farmland poisoned and the urgent need to make the transition to organic. From a health perspective, many consumers consider organic foods to be safer due to lower exposure to pesticides.