Fertilizers and Pesticides
The use of fertilizers, particularly nitrogen, can significantly advance the performance and operation of land previously devoid of any agricultural value.
Progress yields of the late nineteenth and early twentieth had already appealed to the amendments, including limestone, which availability has improved following the lines of communication with the arrival of the railway at any point in the Hexagon. This first phase of improving agronomic potential land value has acidic soils, previously intended for “lean” grass production.
From the end of the Second World War, the development and use of plant protection products (pesticides) to reduce the impact of pests, has had a positive impact on performance and product quality.
Irrigation and drainage
In addition to the above factors, many regions of the world have benefited from the increase in irrigation facilities, including through the development of channels or deep wells. In France, this technique only applies to a limited number of crops, mainly maize, lack of water is a limiting factor in our climate for 20% of arable crops.
Symmetric irrigation which focuses on the lack of water during the summer, modern management and drainage of excess water during the winter have improved agronomic performance of nearly a third arable land of the metropolitan area.
In this case, as in the case of irrigation, it is not a formal break, since there is a continuum from the late Middle Ages, especially in relation to the work undertaken by the great abbeys in areas marshes.
The word etymologically pesticide was built with the suffix “-cide” means “kill” and the English root “pest” which corresponds, as appropriate, to pests or, more generally, to all bio- aggressors. It is a synonym of the plant protection product or plant protection product.
Historically, the first “pesticides”, implemented mainly from the late nineteenth century were products of plant origin (nicotine, rotenone, pyrethrum), minerals (salts of copper, zinc, manganese , iron, arsenic, lead, mercury, sulfur), or simple chemicals such as sulfuric acid or DNOC (dinitro-ortho), quite widely used as herbicides before 1940 in the cereal straws.
The end of the Second World War and progress in terms of organic chemistry saw the replacement of a significant portion of plant-derived pesticides or mineral synthetic molecules more developed, generally more efficient and having a reduced toxicity compared to the most dangerous minerals (arsenic, lead, mercury) or simple chemical.
In developed countries, the criteria of safety, both vis-à-vis the environment vis-à-vis the applicator, became, over time, as important as efficiency in access to market for these molecules. These criteria are now paramount when considering these products, both at the European examination in which the active substances are allowed at the level, by ANSES, which examines commercial products based these active substances.