Timeline of crop protection advances

Maximizing potential Farmer family in wheat field

Crop protection advancing

Crop protection continues to advance to help farmers maximize the potential of land, seed and crop inputs with less environmental impact.

Better profiles Organic food

Increase in product effectiveness

Many of the most widely used pesticides of the 1960s are replaced with products that are more effective against pests and have better environmental and human health profiles.

New modes of action grape harvest

Reduced resistance risks

Crop protection products feature new modes of action that reduce resistance risks and targeted profiles that reduce impact on beneficial organisms like pollinators.

Regulatory approvals honey bee

Crossing Regulatory Hurdles

To meet regulatory approval around the world, today’s crop protection products must show they control pests with as little impact on the environment as possible.

Less herbicide use ladybug beetle

Decline in use rates

Active ingredient use rates decline. Now, farmers use 97% less herbicide active ingredients to protect against weeds than they used to.1

Period of discovery Vineyard

Revolutionizing control

A ground-breaking period of discovery begins, revolutionizing control of disease, insects and weeds in crops.

Rise in productivity Green field

Green Revolution

The Green Revolution introduces new chemistry-based pesticides which result in significant improvements in farm productivity.

Pest control Sewing Machine Factory

Industrial Revolution

Farmers experiment with byproducts of the Industrial Revolution, including coal tar, to control pests. These options are not very effective or environmentally friendly.

Weed control Reaping Grain the 14th Century

Cultivation methods

Farmers begin controlling weeds with cultivation methods, such as optimizing plant spacing. Weeds and insects are removed by hand.

300 BC
Climate impact Bas-relief of an ancient Roman farmer

Insect management

Farmers begin learning about the impact of climate and temperature on insect populations and look for ways to time their planting to avoid insect infestation.

500 BC
Farming in China Ancient China Tea ceremony

Use of predatory ants

Chinese farmers use predatory ants to protect their citrus crops.

2500 BC
First practice Sumerian artifact

The first record of crop protection

Ancient Sumerians leave the first record of practicing crop protection. They use sulfur compounds to control insects, a practice that’s still used in some organic farming.