As a topic of discussion, how could a commercial farmer be a Buddhist and not break the first Precept and suffer horrible karmic results?
Now in tilling or no-till crop production, insects and microbes are killed. No two ways about it. But the need for grain is unquestionably there. As is the need for meat, as I doubt the worlds population will become vegetarian or vegan and cutting out poultry/egg farms and dairies.
Example: a bushel of wheat makes aprox 75-100 loaves of bread.
Kansas produces enough wheat each year to bake 36 billion loaves of bread
A steer after processing yields aprox 500 lbs of meat.
In each of these examples, many thousands-tens of thousands of insects as well as cattle are killed.
Now pesticides are only used if a "threshold" amount of insects are encountered. So that isn't really the premise of this question.
These people need to support their families, and if you look at the chain of production, a single farm has the effect on literally hundreds, if not thousands of jobs. From machinery production to final sale of said product they produce.
But for them to operate and feed the masses, that are unable, through city/apartment/condo living or not being knowledgeable enough to grow their own foods. Which by statistics is over 90+% of the Earths population. How could they beat the karmic wrath for undoubtedly breaking the Precept not to kill?
Kindest wishes, Dave