Pesticides in Tea
We need “pesticides” to grow tea. Crops are susceptible to diseases and pests, so pesticides are used in cultivation for stable supply. Every crop has a different purpose of using pesticides. This article is about pesticides in the cultivation of tea.
Pesticides that are used for tea
pesticides that are used in tea cultivation are pesticides, fungicides, herbicide, etc. Fungicides are divided into the two types: Protectants for disease protection and therapeutic agents for disease treatment. The use of pesticides, regarding residue standards and the period and method of use, is strictly regulated by Agricultural Chemicals Regulation Act, Food Sanitation Act, Water Pollution Prevention Law, etc.
Diseases of tea
There are several diseases of tea. Infected parts can be fresh buds, leaves, roots, stems, or others depending on the case. While different cultivars are liable to different diseases, common diseases are anthrax, blister blight, Pythium red blight, Dendrophoma obscurans, Pestalotiopsis longiseta, etc. Anthrax in particular can be seen at tea plantations across the country because “Yabukita,” the representative cultivar of tea, is susceptible to it. Pesticides are effective against these diseases to some extent.
Pests of tea
Tea has 100 types of pests. There are so many, but only a dozen or so require control. Major pests include yellow tea thrips, Kanzawa spider mites, tea jassids, tea leaf roller, and white peach scales. Pest damage varies by pest types. Some suck the sap of tea trees, and others eat leaves, especially fresh buds. There is also one that blights stems and branches.
Advantages and disadvantages of Pesticides
The advantages and disadvantages of pesticides are as follows.
The basic disease prevention is to grow a disease-resistant cultivar, but it is unlikely that the chosen cultivar also makes large yields of good quality. To cover these shortcomings, farmers use pesticides. In addition, increased weeds take necessary nutrients for the growth of tea trees, so they sprinkle herbicides to prevent the growth of weeds. It also reduces labor for farmers suffering continuous shortage of hands.
To fulfill the purposes of pesticides, such as killing pests and removing weeds, they need to be violently poisonous. It is not only consumers but also the farmers sprinkling them who worry about health hazards. Furthermore, the use of pesticides is disturbing the ecosystem by acting only on specific pests and weeds, and inevitably causing negative environmental effects. Today’s pesticides are friendlier to the human body and environment than before. However, there are still many challenges.