Vegetable Growers' Handbook Chapter IX: Chemical Application and Safety

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The use of pesticides aids in vegetable production improvement. Despite the fears and real problems pesticides can create, these crop protection chemicals improve environmental quality for man, animals and plants.
More than 50,000 destructive plant diseases exist today. Over 10,000 species of insects are considered as pests. A composite list of over 1,775 weeds has been identified by the Weed Science Society of America. With pests such as plant diseases, insects, and weeds decreasing the already inadequate food supply in the world, a need for some means of controlling pests in order to improve the quality and quantity of vegetables produced today is required.
Manmade chemicals are often used as the front line of defense against destructive plant diseases, insects, and weeds. When properly used, they can minimize agricultural losses and pest competition. Knowledge of the pest to control, availability, chemical characteristics and capabilities, application techniques as well as safety concerns are all an integral part of the planning process of a conscientious producer.

Jerral D. Johnson
Charles Cole
Texas AgriLife Extension Service