Most farmers rely on a network of dirt and gravel roads to travel between their fields, but what can you do if the dust your truck kicks up is actually damaging your plants and slowing your profits? Particulate pollution caused by dry country roads is a real health concern for anyone exposed to it on a regular basis, including the plants that quietly line those roads collecting dust. Read on to learn about this problem and how you can limit its impact on your crop.
Connecting High Dust Levels to Poor Plant Growth
Plants need to breathe just like their animal counterparts, but they primarily do so through tiny pores in their cells known as stomata. These stomata can open or close as needed to allow the transfer of gases into and out of the plant as part of its photosynthesis cycle. When these openings are blocked by dust, however, the plant is unable to collect the basic chemicals it needs to convert nutrients into energy, stunting its growth in the process. Some dust is an inevitable part of farming, but it should be avoided as much as possible to give your plants some breathing room.
Inhibiting the Absorption of Pesticides and Other Treatments
Dust can also harm your bottom line by reducing the efficacy of spray-on pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers. Plants that have become coated in dust form an effective barrier against these products, limiting their absorption. Not only will this fail to solve the problem in question, but it also wastes materials and may lead to a buildup of toxic substances in the soil as you are forced to spray again and again with poor results. Between their inability to breathe and their vulnerability to common bugs and fungi, your dusty plants may end up reaching significantly smaller sizes and yields than their full potential.
Reducing Dust Levels Safely Around Agricultural Plants
Most dust pollution on farms is caused by empty fields and dirt or gravel roads. While empty fields simply need to be sown, roads can be a more complicated problem. Your best bet will likely be to hire the services of a professional road dust control company, which will spray your roads with chemical agents designed to increase the moisture retention of the road or bind its particles together, reducing the amount of dry dust waiting to be kicked up each time a truck passes. If you are concerned about these dust controlling sprays being applied so closely to your fields, speak to your service about their safety for agricultural use and any alternative options available to you. By improving the air quality on your farm, you should soon be greeted with brighter, happier plants and stronger profit margins as a result.
For road dust control, contact a company such as GMCO Corporation.