Thousands of pest species including weeds, nematodes (microscopic worms) and plant-eating insects, as well as viruses, fungi, mites and mice threaten the successful production of food crops.
Crop protection products, also known as pesticides, are used in both conventional, organic and genetically modified farming to successfully grow crops. Pesticides keep crops healthy and abundant by protecting them against pests, weeds and diseases.
Pesticides are also important for land management. Our members’ products are 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.
In addition to agriculture and land management, pesticides are also used in human health applications. One example is the control of disease vectors (like mosquitos) that threaten communities in Australia and around the world.
CropLife’s member companies manufacture synthetic crop protection products as well as those based on natural chemicals and minerals (organic and biological).
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 and 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.
The production and use of crop protection products in Australia is highly regulated to assure safety for users, consumers and the environment.
CropLife Australia has produced a comprehensive fact-based guide about the regulation and essential role of pesticides in agriculture, environmental management and human health.
Find out more through The Official Australian reference guide for organic, synthetic and biological pesticides.
Further information about crop protection products is available from the European Crop Protection Association and CropLife International websites.
Find out more about how pesticides are tested.
Learn more about why we need pesticides.