How Will Agricultural Nanotechnology Change the Future of Farming?
The agricultural sector is confronted with huge issues, including rapid climate change, soil fertility decline, macro and micronutrient insufficiency, excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and heavy metal contamination of the soil.
FREMONT, CA: Farmers' lack of awareness and excessive use of pesticides has detrimental effects on agricultural land since harmful agrochemicals pollute the surface and groundwater. Additionally, the growing usage of chemical pesticides depletes the soil of beneficial bacteria, insects, and other species—the cumulative effect of all of these is significant environmental deterioration.
Nanoparticles Are Frequently Used in Agriculture
Numerous nanoparticles are commercially available for agricultural usage. The following are some of the most often utilized nanoparticles:
Polymeric nanoparticles are employed in agriculture to distribute agrochemicals slowly and precisely. Several advantages of polymeric nanoparticles include their greater biocompatibility and low toxicity to unintended organisms.
Polyethylene glycol, poly(epsilon-caprolactone), poly(lactide-co-glycolides), and poly (-glutamic acid are some of the polymeric nanomaterials utilized in agriculture.
Silver nanoparticles are widely employed in antibacterial applications against various phytopathogens. Additionally, scientists have shown that silver nanoparticles promote plant development.
Numerous chemical manufacturers employ nanoalumino-silicate compositions as an effective insecticide.
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles
These biocompatible nanoparticles are used to disinfect water.
Carbon nanoparticles such as graphene, graphene oxide, carbon dots, and fullerenes are utilized for better seed germination.
Additionally, zinc oxide, copper oxide nanoparticles, and magnetic nanoparticles are employed in agriculture.
Agricultural Nanotechnology for Crop Productivity Enhancement
Phytopesticides and phytopesticides are nano pesticides and phytopesticides, respectively.
Agricultural productivity has increased significantly due to nanoherbicides and nanopesticides to control weeds and pests. Formulations for nanoherbicides contain a variety of nanoparticles, including polymeric and inorganic nanoparticles.
Herbicides can be delivered in various effective ways, as scientists have discovered. For instance, poly (epsilon-caprolactone) nanoparticles encapsulate the pesticide atrazine. This nanocapsule demonstrated effective management of the targeted species, reduced genotoxicity, and the ability to reduce atrazine mobility in the soil significantly.
Nanomaterials for disease treatment
Agriculture suffers enormous losses each year due to microbiological (virus, fungus, and bacteria) diseases.
Specific antimicrobial nanomaterials aid in the prevention of microbiological infections. The more common pathogenic fungi that cause disease are Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium solani, and Dematophora necatrix.
Numerous nanoparticles, including nickel ferrite and copper nanoparticles, exhibit significant antifungal activity and are useful in managing the disease. Chitosan nanoparticles, zinc oxide nanoparticles, and silica nanoparticles effectively treat viral infections caused by tobacco mosaic virus, potato mosaic virus, and alfalfa mosaic virus.
Scientists used nanotechnology to develop an intelligent delivery system that would slowly and precisely deliver nutrients to the desired location, thereby addressing the nutrient deficiency in plants.
Nanofertilizers increase agricultural output by increasing the availability of vital nutrients to the plant.
Millet and cluster bean yields were significantly increased following the application of nanophosphorus fertilizers in arid environments. Chitosan nanoparticle suspensions containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and salt have also enhanced crop output.