A caterpillar eating a farmer's crop

3 Ways Farmers Get Rid of Pests on the Farm

A farmer may choose any one, or a combination of these methods for dealing with threats to their crop:

1. Non-Chemical

  • Crop rotation (changing the crops grown every year). This helps to prevent pests which may target one particular crop.
  • Cover crops: Planting between a crop to suppress weeds or offer an environment  that is not desirable to insects or diseases (e.g. planting clover between rows of fruit trees)
  • Pest-resistant seeds (e.g. biotechnology products)
  • Beneficial insects that attack pests.

2. Mechanical

  • Field vacuums, screens or barriers, sticky boards, tilling weeds.97

3. Chemical

  • Insecticides (target insects), herbicides (target weeds), fungicides (targets diseases), and rodenticides (target rodents). There are both natural chemicals and synthetic chemicals available for use. A farmer will choose the option which meets the needs of his or her farm and production choice (e.g. organic or conventional).