Crop protection products, also known as pesticides, are chemical or biological substances used to control unwanted pests that can harm our food, health or environment.
Pesticides are one of the vital tools that help farmers grow healthy crops, protecting our food supply against yield losses and damage caused by weeds, diseases and insects.
Without these products, crop yields and quality would fall, many foodstuffs would be in short supply, and food prices would rise.
Over 97% of UK farms use modern pesticides to deal with a range of pest problems. They can be formulated as liquids, granules or powders. Some are used pre-sowing as seed treatments, but most crop protection products are diluted in water and applied to crops using specialised spraying equipment.
Pesticides are also widely used outside agriculture, for example, to improve the quality of gardens, golf courses and sports pitches, and to maintain the safety of our roads and railways.
Advances in product development, formulation and application ensure that modern pesticides are safer, more precisely targeted and more rapidly degraded in the environment than ever before.