US farmers prioritise cost over sustainability for pesticides - BASF

09 June 2010 22:09  [Source: ICIS news]

CHICAGO (ICIS news)--A US survey from BASF found that farmers place top priority on effectiveness and cost before environmental impact when selecting pesticides, a company official said on Tuesday.

BASF surveyed 400 consumers and farmers in the US on their perceptions about sustainability in the agriculture industry.

“The survey found that growers and consumers actually have different perceptions when it comes to sustainability in agriculture,” said Paul Rea, vice president of BASF's US crop operations business. He spoke at the company’s Agriculture Summit in Chicago.

Consumers thought growers placed environmental impact and effectiveness as their top priorities when selecting pesticides, Rea said.

“Consumers trust growers more than growers probably expect them to,” he said. “This is a good opportunity for the agriculture industry to build on to improve trust and align priorities even further.”

Chemical companies who produce crop protection chemicals could also build on this trust by relaying information to consumers about the advances the industry had made on protecting human health and the environment.

“People often don’t appreciate the rigorous layers of scrutiny pesticides go through before and after they are approved for use by federal agencies,” said Rea. “Industry media can help consumers understand that.”

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By: Doris de Guzman
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