• Dawn Riley

Weather And Spraying; A Turbulent Relationship


Local farmer out spraying his crop. Photo Dawn Riley

Wrapping up a conversation with my neighbour two weeks ago about the difference between soil and dirt (see Issue 876) I made a statement along the lines of a ‘few quiet weeks’ in his life while the growing season took hold and progressed. His response? An extremely amused laugh. I am learning quickly that farming never has downtime.

Next on the farming calendar? Spraying, if needed. According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, crop protection chemicals can provide a cost-effective way of improving the yield and the quality of crops. They also make harvesting more straightforward and support the maintenance of consistent yields from year to year.

There are three central groups of crop protection chemicals, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. Selective herbicides can help control the growth of weeds which grow among a crop, competing with it for water, nutrients and sunlight. Insecticides are utilized when needed to deal with harmful bugs, like flea beetles, cutworms and armyworms. Fungicides help stop the spread of fungi and their spores on plants. Without crop protection chemicals agriculture would be less efficient.