Chinese scientists have developed a smart pesticide that, once in the soil, is controllable and recyclable. A team led by Wu Zhengyan, professor with the Technical Biology Institute, under Hefei Institute of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, used diatomite, iron magnesium oxide and chitosan to make a compound that can be activated by changes to pH levels in the soil…Full Article: Xinhua Sept 2017

Key Point

  • Publicized in the Chemical Engineering Journal, the new pesticide will reportedly only need one spray application on single-season crops. Conventional pesticides typically need multiple spray applications.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In December 2015, according to a Ministry of Agriculture representative, China will attempt to lower its fertilizer and pesticide utilization annual growth rate by less than 1% in the near future. Afterwards, China hopes to lower this rate to 0.2% to 0.3%, dropping it to 0% by 2020.
  • In July 2015, China announced fertilizer and pesticide usage would be “capped” by 2020. Its Ministry of Agriculture stated that less than 33% of fertilizers and pesticides are absorbed by crops.
  • In June 2015, China announced it would construct 80 “eco-friendly” vegetable plots in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei in accordance with the quality control standards of Beijing. These standards primarily focus on limiting the use of pesticides.
  • As of 2014, China produced more than 1,150 chemicals which constituted 98% of all globally registered pesticides.
  • From 2010 to 2014, China’s chemical pesticide production increased from 223.5 million MTs to 374.4 million MTs. Over the same period, Chinese pesticide usage increased from 1.75 million MTs to 1.8 million MTs. In 2014, the provinces/regions that used the most pesticides were Shandong (156,400 MTs), Henan (129,900 MTs), Hubei (126,100 MTs), Hunan (124,300 MTs), Anhui (114,000 MTs), and Guangdong (112,700 MTs).
  • In 2006, China had 184 million farms (average size was 0.7 hectares), making it difficult to monitor chemical inputs.

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