Food crops compete with up to 30,000 species of weeds, 3,000 species of nematodes (microscopic worms) and 10,000 species of plant-eating insects, as well as viruses, fungi, mites and mice.
Crop protection products, also known as pesticides, are used in both conventional and organic farming to keep crops healthy and abundant by protecting them against pests, weeds and diseases. Pesticides are also used to control public health disease vectors (like mosquitos) that threaten communities in Australia and around the world.
Our members’ products are also used to control invasive weeds and species throughout Australia’s national parks, in public parks, golf courses, gardens and to control weeds to maintain roads, buildings, pathways and other public infrastructure.
CropLife’s member companies manufacture synthetic crop protection products as well as those based on natural chemicals and minerals.
Even with the use of modern crop protection products, 20 to 40 per cent of potential food production is still lost every year to pests and plant disease. An adequate, reliable food supply cannot be guaranteed without the use of crop protection products.
In Australia, crop protection products help agricultural industries produce safe, high quality, affordable and abundant food and fibre that is competitive on world markets. They increase Australian crop yields by about 40 per cent as well as increasing the value of our food production by $13 billion each year.
To learn more about pesticides read our fact sheet.
The production and use of crop protection products in Australia is highly regulated to assure safety for users, consumers and the environment.