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Pesticides

Innovative anti-insect netting protects crops without pesticides

Friday, January 15, 2010 by: Ethan Huff
Tags: pesticides, crops, health news

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(NewsTarget) When agricultural pesticides first came on the scene in the 1920s, farmers quickly adopted them as a working solution for eliminating pests that were destroying millions of dollars worth of crops. Resistance to pesticides quickly developed, requiring new formulas and additional applications that drenched the nation's food in increasing amounts of dangerous chemicals. However in the 1990s, an Israeli man came up with an advanced agricultural netting technique that protects plants from bugs while allowing them to receive sun, water, and air.

The son of an Auschwitz concentration camp survivor who built window screens following the war, Avi Klayman built upon his father's trade to develop an advanced screening technique that would protect plants from deadly pests without the use of pesticides. His invention saved Israeli's tomato crop from ruin following the white fly infestation of the late 1980s.

The most common destructive pest of the '90s, the Silverleaf whitefly is said to have ruined billions of dollars worth of U.S. agricultural crops during that time, costing the industry half a billion dollars in 1991 alone. The whitefly is highly resistant to pesticides and carries with it a virus that targets plant DNA, causing plants to wither and die. Termed yellow curl virus, the disease nearly destroyed the entire Israeli tomato crop in 1988.

Recognizing that ever increasing pesticide applications were not working, Klayman developed an "Antivirus" net that was designed to keep out the whitefly while allowing the right amount of sun and air circulation to penetrate it and keeping the crops healthy.

The popularity of his nets was so incredible that he decided to design several other more advanced nets for different types of plant applications, protecting them from other pests like aphids and spider mites. In the rare case that one of these bugs was able to get through the net, the unique design of the nets would filter the light in such a way that the pests would be immediately blinded and immobilized once inside.

Because Klayman's nets are environmentally friendly and work so well, they are a great alternative to using pesticides. Many countries around the world are using agricultural nets rather than pesticides, especially those that are aware of the many dangers of toxic pesticides. Most of the fruit imported in the U.S. from Central and South America have been netted rather than sprayed with pesticides. Many domestic conventional fruits and vegetables, however, are still sprayed with pesticides.

Sources:

Bugg off! - Jerusalem Post

Comprehensive Review of Pesticide Research Confirms Dangers - Ontario College of Family Physicians

Netting for crop protection - Patent 5097624

About the author

Ethan Huff is a freelance writer and health enthusiast who loves exploring the vast world of natural foods and health, digging deep to get to the truth. He runs an online health publication of his own at http://wholesomeherald.blogspot.com.


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