Today for Farm Health and Safety Week, we will be talking about agrichemicals, chemicals used in agriculture, and how to use them safely and effectively. Chemicals may be intimidating and sound a little scary to new users, but with a little research and a lot of caution, they can be great tools!
3 Major Commercial Fertilizers
When used correctly and safely, these chemicals can help increase crop size and production making them important additions to any farmer’s repertoire.
Nitrogen – Commonly used as a plant nutrient to grow taller grass (lawn fertilizer)
Phosphate – Used directly at planting to promote root formation
Potash – Used in fall and spring as a pesticide to help plants and crops resist pests and disease
What are “Agrichemicals” and why are they dangerous?
Agrichemicals are agricultural chemicals that can be purchased in different forms: liquid, powder, granules, and pellets. Many of them require farmers to complete chemical training in order to purchase them. This is because they can be harmful and without proper usage, can harm a farmer, their crops, or their property.
The over-application of agrichemicals can be dangerous due to run-off. If too much chemical is applied, it won’t all be absorbed by the plants. The excess chemical becomes run-off and has the potential to contaminate nearby water sources. Obviously, this is a large concern for farmers who need clean water for themselves, their crops, and their animals. Always be sure to research the chemicals you’re using, as well as their proper application procedures.
Unwanted exposure to agrichemicals without proper protection can cause a variety of problems including headaches, respiratory illnesses, burns, and birth defects. Some, like headaches, are minor, but others can be devastating and harm future generations. There are many safety practices when it comes agrichemicals. Besides usage, storage, transportation, and disposal are three very important factors of safety that must also be considered.
Storage – Do not remove labels from chemicals and always follow manufacturer directions for storage.
Transportation – Transport separately from other farm supplies and edibles.
Disposal – Always follow manufacturer instructions for safe disposal and triple rinse any containers if intending to reuse them.
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