Drivers of Insecticide Use
Source: University of California Santa Barbara
Over the past half-century, food production has intensified to meet the growing demand. And as agricultural fields have become ever larger, more pesticides are required to enhance yield.
Among increasingly huge spreads of single crops, insects tend to thrive as the landscape leaves little habitat for natural enemies such as birds or other predators. But whether this plays out in reality has been difficult to determine scientifically.
To date, empirical landscape-scale studies of the drivers of agricultural insecticide use have produced ambiguous results. Yet data-driven approaches have been fraught with their own problems: namely, aggregated statistics that make it difficult to tease apart the effects of underlying components.
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