Agrochemical overuse needs quick action | Bangkok Post: opinion

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Agrochemical overuse needs quick action

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A survey conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that the water quality of rivers, streams and lakes in the United States is rapidly deteriorating. It laid most of the blame for this situation on the overuse of agricultural chemicals, especially fertilisers. 

The same can be said of the water quality in a great many other countries, including Thailand.

The dangers of agricultural pesticides and herbicides are well known, and according to the EPA, 12 of the most popular pesticides in the United States have ingredients known to cause cancer. The overuse of fertilisers draws less attention, but the dangers should not be discounted. While there is no doubt that adding essential nutrients to farmland can have beneficial effects on crop yields, farmers everywhere seem to believe that more is better, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary. A point of diminishing returns is rapidly reached and yields are actually often reduced if fields are overfertilised. Meanwhile, the excess chemicals that are not taken up by plants end up polluting waterways and the air.

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