Tech-savvy Chinese farmers use drones to spray pesticide

Daily Mail

Farmers in China have caught up with the country's booming drone trend and started using unmanned aircraft to spray pesticide onto the fields. Not only that, a team of villagers in central China recently bought 30 of these bug-zapping vehicles in hope of turning it into a new business. Zhu Xiwang and his neighbours said they hoped their squad of agri-drones to could help them start a pest-killing service, according to, an affiliation to People's Daily Online. This £24.8K flat pack folding home takes just SIX HOURS to build Pictures show the 30 drones lining up on a field, ready to take off. The unmanned aircraft, known by its model name MG-1S, is produced by Shenzhen-based Da Jiang Innovation, one of the largest drone manufacturers in China.

U.S. agency denies petition to ban common pesticide that can harm brain development in children

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – The Trump Administration on Wednesday denied a petition by environmental groups that sought to ban a common pesticide used on citrus fruits, apples, cherries and other crops, reversing a push by the Obama administration to revoke all uses of the pesticide on food after a government review concluded it could harm children's brains. In announcing the decision, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said that by not banning chlorpyrifos he is providing "regulatory certainty" to thousands of American farms that rely on the pesticide. "By reversing the previous Administration's steps to ban one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, we are returning to using sound science in decision-making -- rather than predetermined results," Pruitt said. Environmental groups pointed to recent studies showing even minuscule amounts of chlorpyrifos, sold by Dow AgroSciences, can interfere with brain development of fetuses, infants and children. They accused Pruitt of putting the interests of big business over people.

Hawaii residents renew push for stricter pesticide rules

PBS NewsHour

Hawaii residents plan to push for more regulations over pesticide use. HONOLULU -- Hawaii residents concerned about pesticide use by major agriculture companies on the islands are planning a push to strengthen regulation over chemicals they fear harm their health. The divisive issue has drawn thousands to the Legislature in recent years following incidents where schoolchildren and agriculture workers fell ill and some suspected their sickness was connected to pesticides sprayed by seed testing companies. Several major agriculture companies test genetically engineered crops on the islands, taking advantage of Hawaii's year-round warm weather to develop new types of corn and soybeans and testing more generations of crops than they could in other states. A recent study found there wasn't enough evidence to show the pesticides used by Syngenta, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer and BASF Plant Science on Kauai caused adverse health or environmental effects on the community.

Insecticides Threaten Bee Biodiversity, Long-Term Study Shows

International Business Times

Every few weeks or months the last few years, there is a scientific paper warning us that bees are disappearing or dying in large numbers, usually as a result of some human action or another. And giving credence to the usual short-term studies, a new study that used 18 years of data linked the use of insecticides to the decline in bee populations in the long-term as well. Because they are important, and not just from a pure biodiversity point of view. According to the paper, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications: "Insect pollinators are estimated to support 9.5% of world food production and wild bees have an important role in the delivery of this ecosystem service." The paper, titled "Impacts of neonicotinoid use on long-term population changes in wild bees in England," uses data collected in the United Kingdom and as its name suggests, looks at the use of neonicotinoid -- a type of insecticide -- in oilseed rape crops and its effect on different kinds of bees, including honeybees and bumble bees.

'Perfect' for bees are found to carry traces of harmful pesticides

Daily Mail

Plants sold by the Royal Horticultural Society as'perfect' for bees have been found to carry traces of pesticides harmful to insects. The gardening society unveiled a'perfect for pollinators' logo in 2011 to encourage gardeners to buy more flowering plants in the hope of tackling a decline in bees. But it seems the plants weren't so perfect after all. Research shows they contain residues of pesticides and fungicides, including neonicotinoids, which have been blamed for falling bee numbers. Plants that were marked as'perfect' for bees have been found to contain pesticides which have been blamed for falling bee numbers The gardening society unveiled a'perfect for pollinators' logo in 2011 to encourage gardeners to buy more flowering plants in the hope of tackling a decline in bees However the Royal Horticulture Society is not scrapping the range and has instead changed the logo to'plants for pollinators' Rather than scrapping the range, the RHS has now changed its logo to'plants for pollinators', pictured.