Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, Switzerland

Use of plant-protection products in Switzerland from 2009 to 2012

Since 2009, the use of plant-protection products (PPP’s) in Switzerland has been recorded annually with the help of the field records of around 300 farms. From these records, we have calculated which PPP’s are applied and in what frequency and quantity. In the period of the study, 2009 to 2012, more PPP’s were used more frequently in orchards, vineyards, potato and sugar-beet crops than in field crops such as maize, wheat and oilseed rape – i.e. there were major differences in PPP use between the different crops. Fungicides dominated PPP use in many crops, although the active fungicidal substances used varied from crop to crop. The choice of main active substances did not change significantly over the four years within the individual crops. An exception to this were the insecticides applied to the oilseed rape crop, where fewer pyrethroids were used owing to resistance problems. There was significant variability in PPP use between different plots of the same crop. In-depth investigations of the causes of this variability could indicate possible PPP reduction strategies. In parallel to the key figures on PPP usage trends presented here, an indicator is being developed which takes into account the ecotoxicity and degradability of the active substances used, thereby permitting an environmental impact assessment of the use of the PPP.

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