“We are meant to live WITH the land, not ON it”

The use of fertilizers and pesticides is extensive in United States’ (US) agriculture, and crop production has been aided by these inputs for some time. As demand for crops like corn and soybeans grew, so did the land area dedicated for their production. Fertilizer and pesticide use increased alongside it. Nutrients essential for plant growth are supplied by fertilizers, and pesticides kill plants and animals which harm crops, helping boost production.

Fertilizers and pesticides have a long history of use in the US and are considered important components of modern farming. Fertilizers are used to supply crops with essential nutrients for growth and to help replenish the soil of key elements once a crop has extracted them during the growth process. The use of manure for nutrient application was the predominant fertilizer method for quite some time, but chemically-based fertilizers rapidly gained popularity starting in the 1940’s. Nitrogen was used extensively during World War II in the making of explosives, and after the war ended factories started producing fertilizer from the nitrogen supply. Today, fertilizers are available in many forms, and are widely used to aid plant growth and increase crop production.