116 thoughts on “Explain your alternative to synthetic herbicides/ pesticides. Tell pros and cons. Then, comment on at least two other alternatives. What are your criticisms? Why might they be effective?”

  1. My alternative herbicide/ pesticide is entomopathogenic fungi. It is a good way to control pests but still be safe for the environment. It can damage or kill unwanted insects. Although the application techniques can difficult. Also choosing the wrong fungi can lead to the death of wanted insects.

  2. my alternative is corn gluten meal. this product is a substitute for pesticides. all you have to do is spread the corn gluten meal in your yard and water it in and it will stop weed seeds from germinating. another use that this product has is animal feed. commonly Corn gluten meal is used in cow feed and dog food.

    1. I didn’t know corn had gluten. Is the gluten added in? That’s super fascinating that it stops weed seeds from germinating. How does it know which seeds are weed seeds and which are grass seeds and stuff you want in your yard?

    2. Is corn gluten good fir the environment and if it is how would using this method be used in huge crops? And would this resolve in the mass farming of corn even further than it already is, affecting the cattle farms and other crops for the corn gluten?

  3. My alternative to using pesticides is utilizing polycultures, What that means is growing more than one type of plant in the same area.
    reduces susceptibility to disease
    increased yields by 89%
    Better pollination
    Better flavor and nutrition
    Uses soil’s full potential
    Reduced Greenhouse gasses
    Faster growth rates

    Slower harvest
    Difficult to calculate income and predict results
    Seed loss/high initial seed costs
    Labor heavy
    Higher investment in specific equipment

    1. So it seems like this is very eco-friendly, but how would you suggest convincing farmers to take up this labor-intensive, expensive alternative?

    2. Seems like something to use on small scale farming operations but risky and ineffective at dealing with problems in a larger scale setting. Seems okay for protecting crops, increasing yield, and remaining harmless to the environment though.

    3. I feel like this is a very natural and normal way to go about things and would not be out of the ordinary.

  4. My alternative to herbicides and pesticides is pheromones. Pheromones are placed on unnecessary plants to distract bad bugs from crops.
    -virtually harmless
    -almost all natural
    – not expensive
    – temporary solution
    – bug specific
    – area specific
    I think that pheromones are not effective on a large scale but very effective on a small scale.

    1. Since most bug species react to pheromones, would you have to use multiple pheromones to distract multiple species? Would the pheromones have an impact on a bug species it wasn’t intended for?

    2. So maybe in a place like a greenhouse or a hydroponics plant where you could control for a majority of pests, this would be a good option.

    3. I agree this would work on a small scale operation. Yet, this product, like you said, is bug and area specific. It may not work on lots of plants and bugs and could be very un-effective in this way.

  5. My alternative is organic farming. This is a process of farming through the use of natural sources of nutrients and natural weed/ insect control. Pros to this are that it is natural, healthy, and sustainable. Cons are that it is a less effective method of farming and it can be more expensive on bigger farms.

    1. With all the huge farms in the U.S, could they still make a profit even though organic farming is more expensive?

    2. Another type of good effective crop control for small scale farming, but very ineffective for large scale operations. Good for local farms but bad for big corporation operations.

    3. The cost of the farming can have a big impact on a farm. Why not just use a cheaper and easier method?

    4. In order for a farm to run they need to be as cost effective as possible. When they spend more they have to sell there product for more. It is a double bladed sword on whether you want to spend more on producing the product organically and having a better result, or spend less money on product and use herbicides and pesticides but have a less than satisfactory product.

  6. Entomopathogenic fungi is an alternative to herbicides and pesticides. It is an organism that acts as a parasite that can kill or disable insects. A pro to this alternative is that it is a good way for biological control of pests because it is environmentally safe. A con to this alternative is that it is hard to choose where you want to put it and application techniques can be difficult.

    1. I feel that if there was a method to effectively apply the fungi, it would be almost one of the most effective methods. But you must also consider the possibility of the fungi hurting bugs other than the ones on the farm.

    2. This was beautiful and life changing. Very good pros and cons and other facts about entomopathogenic fungi.

  7. Using soaps is an alternative that weakens the plants outer layer, thus leaving it more vulnerable.
    Inexpensive, safe, and widely available.

    sometimes needs to be used with herbicides (weaker herbicides).

    1. Soap as in, hand soap? The stuff you can pick up at walmart? or is there a fancy type of soap you have to use?

    2. If you still need to use herbicides with soap then it defeats the purpose of being an alternative even if it is weaker they are still harmful.

  8. In my opinion entomopathogenic fungi is one of the best alternatives for herbicides and pesticides. It is a good way to control pests and is still safe for the environment. It can kill unwanted insects. But choosing the wrong fungi can lead to the death of insects that are good for the environment and plants.

  9. My alternative to synthetic herbicides is using household items such as vinegar. The pros are: wont kill anyone, its low cost and everyone has it, natural, if it does contaminate other crops it has no side effects. The Cons: can not be used on a mass scale, Low strength, It kills the roots of the plants.

    1. vinegar is actually a very dangerous chemical; it can melt your skin off in high concentrations. The only reason that it does not harm us is that is is diluted. The questions is, will it become un-diluted in used and build up concentration over time?

  10. My topic was crop rotation. It is the farming method in which the plot of land does not only have one type of plant. There are going to be many different types of produce on them. They are going to be the farmers priority and what he intends to grow, with the addition of another plant. This extra plant is meant so that the soil wont’r run out of nutrients. The primary plants the farmer is growing tend to use up the nutrients in the soil. The extra plant has to be one that does does not only use up nutrients but puts them back into the soil. The pros heavily out way the cons but a few cons are that the additional plants have to be one that puts nutrients back into the earth. Also the farmer can’t simply grow one single plant. He has to use that additional plant so he can’t use the entirety of his land for his intended produce.

  11. An alternative to synthetic herbicides/ pesticides is adding soap to surfactant to weaken the waxy outer layer of plants. The pro is that it is safe and cheap, however the cons are that it takes a longer time compared to other herbicides and you still have to use some amount of herbicides along with the soaps. My criticism is that the alternative to using herbicide/ pesticide is soap being added to it doesn’t change too much of the harmful chemicals, however it might be effective because it is less harsh on the environment and the users.

  12. My Alternative to using synthetic herbicides is in using Trap Crops. trap Crops this is when a crop is planted to attract insect pests from another crop especially one in with the pests fail to survive or reproduce.

    – Using necessary water.
    -Some pests can still survive.

    – Pests fail to reproduce
    -Save other crops

    1. This is a great idea, but does it affect the amount of water used in order to water both plants instead of one plant? Are there any risks for damaging the nutrients in the soil and how come farmers don’t choose this method rather than pesticides?

  13. Also known as sheet composting, lasagna mulching developed it’s name because of the layering technique. This method is used mostly for home gardens.

    The layers of nitrogen and carbon materials can improve the soil, such as, coffee grounds, kitchen scraps, composted manures, and vegetable scraps.
    The materials used are being recycled in a way.
    This method discourages flies from laying eggs on plants.

    It takes a long time to decompose before replanting.

    I personally think this is a great way to reuse kitchen scraps and different materials. This could benefit the environment because it is a way of recycling and the layering technique helps the soil more than other ways.

    1. Very good pros and cons but it would be better better for to leave out you personal opinion. Overall good information. You did good champ.

  14. My alternative is introducing natural predators to already existing pests. Over all this is a very good way of getting rid of pests but can be a very slow process. One of the major benefits of it is that it is all natural and organic and that it is not harmful to people or crop. Some of the main negatives of it are that it can be expensive and that it is often a slow process.

  15. Poly culture- The raising of more than one species of plants or animals at the same time and place.
    -reduces susceptibility to disease
    -Imitates the diversity of natural ecosystem
    -Increased yields by 89%
    – Less pest loss
    -Better pollination
    -Better flavor and nutrition
    -Uses soils full potential
    -Reduced greenhouse gases
    -Faster growth rates
    -Slower harvest
    -Difficult to calculate income and predict results
    -See loss/high initial seed costs
    -Labor heavy
    -Higher investment in specific equipment

    1. I think this idea would be effective and less time consuming. They would raise different species together to produce more and faster.

  16. Native Plants are plants that have been in an area long enough to have adapted to the environment.
    The pros of using Native Plants are less watering and less maintenance.
    The cons of using Native Plants is limited food supply.

  17. My alternative to synthetic Herbicides/Pesticides is Lasagna Mulching. Lasagna Mulching is a no-dig, no-till organic gardening method that results in rich, fluffy soil with very little work. One pro of using this method is how incredibly easy it is, another pro is that there is Fewer weeds, thanks to the newspaper suppression. A con of using this method is that it takes a very long time for these layers to decompose, Another con is that this method tends to attract pests such as insects.

    1. Will people be willing to buy it over other mulches? Will it be more expensive than people can afford to pay? If it is easy and cheap, I’m sure people will pursue this idea.

  18. My alternative is natural pest predators, where there is a relationship between two species which one eats the other. This is more natural than using chemicals to kill species.
    No more pests
    Doesn’t harm plants
    Doesn’t harm humans
    Less long term negative effects
    Pest don’t develop a resistance
    When prey is gone, predators will eat other things or run out of food.
    Slow process

    1. I think this alternative is a really good idea and it’s organic all around, but what happens when all the bugs run out because they’ve all been eaten? I think this idea would be effective until a certain point.

  19. My alternative was pheromones that are used as a harmless misdirection for specific bugs to keep them away from certain crops. Some of the pros to this alternative is that it is targeted to a specific bug species, they’re not harmful to humans or plants/crops. and pheromones get rid of harmful bugs that destroy crops. Some of the cons to this alternative are that it is expensive, they’re hard to tailor to be specific for one bug, and it is not a permanent solution.

  20. My alternative to chemical spray on weeds was vinegar. Vinegar is a more natural way to get rid of weeds. A positive to using vinegar is even when sprayed on weeds it will not hurt anyone while its in the application process and when ingested it will not physically hurt anyone. A con is vinegar not only gets rid of weeds but if it seeps into the ground it tends to kill surrounding plants.

  21. A good alternative to synthetic pesticides is organic farming. It is healthy, natural, and very safe. Pros of organic farming is that it is natural and forever, it is reuasable and good.

  22. I think the best alternative to synthetic herbicides or pesticides would be to use organic materials to create the same products.
    Corn Gluten Meal is an example of an alternative herbicide. The Corn Gluten meal is used as a filler in animal feed (the CGM is organic and edible), but it’s main use is to stop young weed seeds from germinating.
    Some Pro’s and Con’s for this product are:
    1.) Pro: CGM is all organic and good for the environment
    2.) Pro: CGM is edible
    3.) Cons: CGM can possibly stop the germination of healthy plants.

  23. Darian Souza and Jacob Hearne

    Our alternative is Lasagna Mulch

    What it is: Lasagna Mulch is a gardening technique using decomposing leaves, grass and other decomposing plant life layered in mulch. Here, seeds can be planted and watered within a pan without light. The decomposing plants help to cut off possibility of unwanted weeds growing and gives nutrients to the mulch. Microorganisms than eat the plants and produce rich soil.

    -Helps create rich, useful soil
    -Easy to make
    -Gets rid of unwanted leaves
    -Produces Healthy product

    -Collecting right “ingredients” may be difficult
    -Does not get rid of bugs
    -Risk of unsuccessfulness from decomposed plants
    -Can cause fungi

    Practical Use:

    When soil is bad, lasagna mulching can be used to create a foundation nutrient-rich to replenish soil.

    1. It sounds like a good idea because if the soil that you have already is bad, the lasagna mulch can make it better and easier to grow things with the mulch.

  24. For my group and our category we had Poly culture which basically means growing raising or growing more than one species at the same time and in the same area. This can be very good for growing crops at a fast rate but can also bring many problems.
    Cons: Slower harvest, Makes it difficult to calculate income and results, and crop cost is very high.
    Pros: Fast Growing, less pests loss, Fertility grown on sight, and many more.

  25. Farming Organically:
    Farming without synthetic or artificial herbicides, pesticides, or Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Natural methods of feeding plants are also used.
    Preserves natural resources and biodiversity
    Support animal health and welfare
    More expensive to consumers
    Requires annual onsite inspections

    1. When your crops are overtaken by invasive species of plants or by invasive species of insects or animals what will you do?

  26. My alternative was Insect selective breeding. Selective breeding is a technique the stops the reproductive cycle of insects so they can’t reproduce and keep eating plants. Some of the pros and cons are:
    1. It has no issue of safety (pro)
    2. It can help eliminate disease (pro)
    3. It is expensive and time consuming (con)
    4. It can eradicate and entire species (con)

    1. I think this method is very effective. The fact that it doesn’t have any safety issues makes it even better!

  27. My alternative is Poly culture which is the raising of more than one species in a single area at the same time.
    Some pros are fast growing, best flavor and nutrition better pollination and fertility grown on site.
    Some cons are slower harvest , hard to calculate income and predict results, and seed loss.

    1. Raising and multiplying a particular species in a single expanded area may be a bad thing. For instance, if you have more and more mountain loins being reproduced in a specific area all the smaller, plant-eating animals would be at risk of extinction due to the increase of lions preying on them.

  28. Natural pest predators or the use of this relationship in order to protect a crop from one species with another species. A good way to help the planet is by if a crop is being eaten by a smaller animal have a predator consume them to save the plant.
    Pros: natural and better then pesticides
    Cons: Could kill off a species or have an over popullation of predator species

  29. Corn Gluten Meal
    Corn Gluten Meal is a powdery byproduct of corn milling. This natural protein is effective in lawns and gardening. It is a good example of an alternative herbicide. Some pros are it’s organic and non-toxic, a good source of slowly released Nitrogen and it slows down the germination process potentially preventing the mass spread of weeds. Some cons are that it is applied in masses around 1000 sq. ft, it’s inconsistent, not to mention hard to find locally and being more expensive.

  30. Native plants are plants that have existed in an area for a very long time. This can be an alternative for synthetic pesticides because the plants have had plenty of time to fully adapt to the environment.
    -use less fertilizer
    -use less water
    -keep the air cleaner
    -more resistant to pest problems
    -changing climate affecting them
    -may not appear as best as newer plants

  31. My herbicide is is the special gardening technique called Lasagna Mulch. It uses decomposing leaves, grass and other dying plant life layered in mulch. Seed can then be planted with water and sunlight at use inside of a pot or garden box. The decomposing plants help to cut off any possibility of unwanted weeds growing and also give nutrients to the mulch to feed the growing seeds.
    -Helps create rich, useful soil
    -Easy to make
    -Makes use of unwanted, decomposing leaves
    -Produces healthy products
    -Is not a source of bug depletion
    -May cause a fungi to grow is not treated properly

  32. A trap crop is a crop that is used to attract bugs away from another crop. The trap crop is most effective when it provides an environment that the pests CANNOT survive in.

    1. No pesticides or herbicides needed
    2. It’s an effective way to kill off pests
    3. It doesn’t mess with the environment
    4. Ideally, you would only need to plant one crop (as opposed to spraying something multiple times)
    5. It’s not a danger to anyone’s health

    1. Timing can be difficult
    2. The crop might not last all year
    3. Getting the wrong crop can make this method useless
    4. It’s expensive
    5. It could potentially attract other bugs, causing an imbalance to the environment

  33. Corn Gluten Meal
    A powdery byproduct of the corn milling process. Its a natural protein and is very effective for killing the weeds in lawns.
    Pros of CGM is its non-toxic, prevents weeds, good source of slowly released nitrogen. Cons to CGM is it has to be applied at 20LBS per 1000sqft, hard to find locally, and its more expensive.

    An alternative to synthetic herbicides is using organic materials to create the same or similar products.

  34. My alternative to Synthetic Herbicides and Pesticides is that Acid solutions are believed to cause changes in plant call PH that result in loss of cell membrane integrity.
    Cost effective
    Free of toxic chemiclas

    Low strength
    Localized application

  35. My topic was called soaps and their a lot similar to a spray because they are put on the plants and they work to kill the bugs and any other thing that’s harmful to the plant but it doesn’t hurt us to eat.

  36. Organic Farming uses traditional farming methods instead of relying on pesticides or GMOs.
    -Preserve natural resources and biodiversity
    -Support animal health and welfare
    -More expensive

  37. My alternative to synthetic herbicides or pesticide was soaps used on agricultural land. its a natural way to help kill unwanted pest and invasive species. it also all natural and wont harm humans or other animals that is unwanted to hurt or kill.

  38. Crop rotation is a common organic farm method that does not use chemically composed fertilizer, that are often times free from herbicide and pesticide. Often it is used in smaller organic farm businesses that are not at the point of using production harvest equipment, or that are limited on field sizes.
    Pros to crop rotation are that it keeps one field fertile through every year by not planting on it to replenish nutrients in the soil, fertile fields create a stronger crop yield, And that it is an all natural type of fertilization.
    Cons also vary to the crop rotation method, you do not maximize your crop production by leaving a field empty every year. you do not know how fertile the field is or if it replenished any nutrients at all. Its Not a method that is best used for production purposes because it requires more skill and labor to farm that method in order to reach a profitable crop quota.

  39. My alternative to synthetic herbicides is vinegar, an acidic solution. The vinegar damages plant tissue and kills the above ground growth of the plant.

    Pros: Vinegar is cost effective as well as easy to come by whether in the home or at a store. It is natural and free of toxic chemicals. Vinegar is fast acting and get the job done.

    Cons: The vinegar is low strength and only kills the top growth of the plant. So it is not a permanent solution.

  40. Insect Breeding Interference
    Technique that stops the reproductive cycle of insects
    -Stops insects from reproducing
    -Only targets male insects
    -Keeps beneficial insect species intact(pollinators, natural enemies)
    -No issue of safety
    -Can help eliminate disease
    -Can eradicate an entire species
    -Expensive and time consuming

    An alternative to synthetic insecticides is bio-mechanically changing the way the insects reproduce.

  41. Plants that are part of the area are native plants. These native plants are better to use than synthetic pesticides since they have adapted to the environment.

    Less watering
    Less fertilizer
    resistant to pests

    Changing climate

  42. My alternative is crop rotation.
    Better quality food with no use of pesticides or herbicides.
    Fields are fertile all year long.
    Not a lot of food is produced.

  43. Using polycultures would mean planting different plants in the same place. The different plants attract different bugs that potentially help the plant thrive. This would be a better alternative to harmful chemicals.

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