Cutting-edge nanotechnology helps producers battle their greatest foes
May 9, 2023 By Top Crop Manager
Imagine if you could design a customized crop treatment program that targets the specific pests that are present in your field – with less spraying.
Thanks in part to research by AAFC Research Scientist Dr. Justin Pahara and his team of scientists at the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, that may soon be a reality.
Pahara is leading new research in nanotechnology, using tiny particles (called nanoparticles) that bind to agricultural pests without harming beneficial plants and insects. How tiny is tiny? Well, to give an example, they are 1,000 times smaller than the width of a tattoo needle.
These microscopic nanoparticles are bound with active ingredients that affect a specific plant or insect and can be customized to produce a variety of desired outcomes. Applied like traditional pesticides, this next generation of crop protection products are designed to be targeted, effective and efficient so producers can get better protection while spraying less.
These cutting-edge crop treatments will enable producers to address the bad pests in their field, while keeping the good species and reducing or eliminating their need to spray with traditional insecticides and herbicides. This could reduce costly crop spraying, while also increasing production and yields.
Nanoparticle crop treatments can also help producers expand their market opportunities internationally and abroad, where local regulations may exclude products treated with traditional insecticides or herbicides.
“Our goal is to create a new generation of crop treatments that help growers manage pests when and where they need to, while maintaining the health of their field, increasing production and empowering them to sell what they grow around the world,” says Pahara.