Publication - Statistics

Pesticide Usage in Scotland: Grassland and Fodder Crops 2017

Published: 3 Oct 2018
Part of:
Farming and rural
ISBN:
9781787812321

This publication presents information from a survey of pesticide use on grassland and fodder crops in Scotland during 2017.

103 page PDF

2.5 MB

103 page PDF

2.5 MB

Contents
Pesticide Usage in Scotland: Grassland and Fodder Crops 2017
2017 Pesticide usage

103 page PDF

2.5 MB

2017 Pesticide usage

Direct sown grass

  • An estimated 19,587 hectares of direct sown grass was grown in Scotland in 2017, a decrease of 29 per cent since 2013
  • 25 per cent of the crop was treated with a pesticide
  • Pesticides were applied to 6,321 treated hectares and 4,917 kilograms of pesticide were applied in total (see summary table below)
  • 85 per cent of pesticides applied, by area, were herbicides and 15 per cent were seed treatments
  • Direct sown grass received on average one herbicide spray applied to 20 per cent of the crop area ( Table 1)
  • Timings of herbicide applications are shown in Figure 19
  • 45 per cent of herbicide use was for grass weed control, 24 per cent for crop destruction/pasture kill, nine per cent for chickweed, seven per cent for docks, six per cent for daynettle and the remaining 11 per cent for control of other weeds including redshank, thistle, fat hen, rushes and broad-leaved weeds

Summary of pesticide use on direct sown grass

Pesticide group Formulation area treated Weight of pesticides applied Percentage of crop treated Most used formulations
ha kg % ha
Herbicides 5,396 4,834 20 Glyphosate (1,517), 2,4- DB (1,132)
Seed treatments 925 83 5 Thiram (925)
All pesticides 6,321 4,917 25  

Figure 19: Timing of herbicide applications on direct sown grass - 2017

Figure 19: Timing of herbicide applications on direct sown grass - 2017

Undersown grass

  • An estimated 7,563 hectares of undersown grass was grown in Scotland in 2017, a decrease of 51 per cent from 2013
  • 60 per cent of undersown grass was treated with a pesticide (see Figure 20 for types of pesticides used
  • 16,092 hectares of pesticide formulations were applied and 6,389 kilograms of pesticide were used in total on the crop (see summary table below)
  • All fungicide and insecticide use on undersown grass was for controlling disease or insect pests in the nurse crop.
  • Undersown grass received on average 1.4 pesticide sprays on 60 per cent of the crop ( Table 1). These included 1.3 fungicide applications on 48 per cent of the crop and one herbicide application on 60 per cent of the crop
  • The timing of pesticide applications are shown in Figure 21
  • Reasons for fungicide applications were supplied for 65 per cent of total use; 47 per cent was for general disease control, eight per cent for mildew, five per cent for Rhynchosporium and five per cent for Ramularia
  • Reasons for herbicide applications were supplied for 82 per cent of all use; 52 per cent for general weed control, 10 per cent for annual broad-leaved weeds, six per cent for nettles, five per cent for chickweed, four per cent for thistles, two per cent for annual grass weeds and one per cent for rushes.
  • All use of insecticides on undersown grass was for aphid control

Summary of pesticide use on undersown grass

Pesticide group Formulation area treated Weight of pesticides applied Percentage of crop treated Most used formulations
ha kg % ha
Herbicides 8,352 4,482 60 2,4- DB (2,746), Tribenuron-methyl (2,735)
Fungicides 7,065 1,656 48 Chlorothalonil (1,511), Prothioconazole/ trifloxystrobin (1,142)
Insecticides 69 <0.5 1 Lambda-cyhalothrin (69)
Growth regulators 606 250 8 Chlormequat (258)
All pesticides 16,092 6,389 60  

Figure 20: Use of pesticides on undersown grass (percentage of total area treated with formulations) – 2017

Figure 20: Use of pesticides on undersown grass (percentage of total area treated with formulations) – 2017

Figure 21: Timing of pesticide applications on undersown grass - 2017

Figure 21: Timing of pesticide applications on undersown grass - 2017

Grass one to four years old

  • An estimated 186,667 hectares of grass between one and four years old was grown in Scotland in 2017. This represents a decrease of 55 per cent from 2013
  • Only herbicides were applied to grass between one and four years old
  • Three per cent of the crop was treated with a herbicide ( Table 1)
  • 5,098 hectares of herbicide formulations were applied and 2,729 kilograms of herbicide were used in total
  • Fluroxypyr (1,043 hectares) and fluroxypyr/triclopyr (931 hectares) were the most used herbicide formulations
  • The timing of herbicide applications are shown in Figure 22
  • Reasons were given for 99 per cent of total herbicide use; 66 per cent for control of docks,12 per cent for thistles, seven per cent for grass weeds, six per cent for ragwort, four per cent for other weeds (including nettles, daisies and rushes) and three per cent for grass kill

Figure 22: Timing of herbicide applications on grass one to four years old - 2017

Figure 22: Timing of herbicide applications on grass one to four years old - 2017

Grass over five years old

  • 1,112,553 hectares of grass over five years old was grown in Scotland in 2017. This was a 26 per cent increase from 2013
  • Only herbicides were applied to grass over five years old
  • Three per cent of the crop was treated with a herbicide ( Table 1)
  • Herbicides were applied to 46,050 hectares and 34,217 kilograms of herbicides in total were applied to the crop
  • The most used herbicide formulations were MCPA, applied to 10,489 hectares, fluroxypyr applied to 8,804 hectares and fluroxypyr/triclopyr applied to 8,061 hectares
  • Timings of herbicide applications are shown in Figure 23
  • Reasons were given for 98 per cent of herbicide use; docks accounted for 44 per cent of herbicide applications, thistles 21 per cent, rushes 15 per cent, nettles five per cent, ragwort five per cent, other weeds (including buttercup and general weed control) five per cent and one per cent grass/crop destruction

Figure 23: Timing of herbicide applications on grass over five years old - 2017

Figure 23: Timing of herbicide applications on grass over five years old - 2017

Rough grazing

  • 3,037,615 hectares of rough grazing was grown in Scotland in 2017, a one per cent decrease from the 2013 survey
  • Only herbicides were applied to rough grazing
  • 0.5 per cent of rough grazing was treated with a herbicide, with an average of one application ( Table 1)
  • An area of 14,378 hectares of herbicide formulations and 35,553 kilograms were applied in total
  • The most commonly encountered herbicide formulations were asulam (5,886 hectares) and MCPA (5,762 hectares)
  • Timings of the herbicide applications are shown in Figure 24
  • Reasons were supplied for all herbicide use on rough grazing; 45 per cent of applications were for bracken, 44 per cent for rushes, six per cent for docks and five per cent for thistles

Figure 24: Timing of herbicide applications on rough grazing - 2017

Figure 24: Timing of herbicide applications on rough grazing - 2017

Arable silage

  • An estimated 5,801 hectares of arable silage was grown in Scotland in 2017, a decrease of 32 per cent from 2013
  • Arable silage is recorded in the ‘other crops for stock-feeding’ category of the Agricultural Census
  • Crops grown for arable silage included spring barley, spring oats, spring wheat, peas, lupin, triticale, rye, clover and vetches, some of which were undersown
  • 58 per cent of the crop was treated with a pesticide (see Figure 25 for types of pesticides used)
  • 5,928 hectares of pesticide formulations and 1,669 kilograms of pesticides were used in total on arable silage (see summary table below)
  • The arable silage crop received on average one application of fungicides and herbicides on 10 per cent and 21 per cent of the crop respectively ( Table 1)
  • Timings of the pesticide applications are shown in Figure 26
  • Reasons were supplied for 62 per cent of applications of fungicides; 51 per cent was for general disease control and 11 per cent for mildew
  • Reasons were supplied for 79 per cent of herbicide applications; 75 per cent was for general weed control and four per cent for docks

Summary of pesticide use on arable silage

Pesticide group Formulation area treated Weight of pesticides applied Percentage of crop treated Most used formulations
ha kg % ha
Herbicides 1,948 1,420 21 Tribenuron-methyl (319), Pendimethalin (290)
Fungicides 806 193 10 Chlorothalonil (220)
Seed treatments 3,174 56 48 Imazalil/ipconazole (759), Fluopyram/ prothioconazole/ tebuconazole (751)
All pesticides 5,928 1,669 58  

Figure 25: Use of pesticides on arable silage (percentage of total area treated with formulations) – 2017

Figure 25: Use of pesticides on arable silage (percentage of total area treated with formulations) – 2017

Figure 26: Timing of pesticide applications on arable silage - 2017

Figure 26: Timing of pesticide applications on arable silage - 2017

Fodder beet

  • An estimated 611 hectares of fodder beet was grown in Scotland in 2017, a 31 per cent increase from 2013
  • All of the crop surveyed was treated with a pesticide (see Figure 27 for types of pesticides applied)
  • Pesticides were applied to 3,760 treated hectares and 2,115 kilograms were applied in total (see summary table below)
  • The fodder beet crop received on average 3.6 pesticide applications ( Table 1). These sprays included 3.2 herbicides and one insecticide application on 100 per cent and 34 per cent of the crop respectively
  • The timings of pesticide applications are shown in Figure 28
  • Reasons were provided for 91 per cent of herbicide use; 84 per cent was for general weed control, four per cent for crop destruction/ grass kill and three per cent for broad-leaved weeds
  • The most common varieties encountered were Robbos, Tarine and Kyros, accounting for 40, 24 and 17 per cent respectively

Summary of pesticide use on fodder beet

Pesticide group Formulation area treated Weight of pesticides applied Percentage of crop treated Most used formulations
ha kg % ha
Herbicides 3,194 2,106 100 Metamitron (919), Desmedipham/ ethofumesate/lenacil/ phenmedipham (878)
Insecticides 210 1 34 Lambda-cyhalothrin (210)
Seed treatments 356 8 58 Tefluthrin (356)
All pesticides 3,760 2,115 100  

Figure 27: Use of pesticides on fodder beet (percentage of total area treated with formulations) – 2017

Figure 27: Use of pesticides on fodder beet (percentage of total area treated with formulations) – 2017

Figure 28: Timing of pesticide applications on fodder beet - 2017

Figure 28: Timing of pesticide applications on fodder beet - 2017

Fodder rape

  • 2,007 hectares of fodder rape were grown in 2017, a five per cent decrease from 2013
  • It is estimated that 68 per cent of the fodder rape encountered was mixed with another crop such as kale or stubble turnips
  • A further 55 hectares of fodder rape were recorded in fodder crop mixes in the ‘other crops for stock-feeding’ category (see the other fodder section for details)
  • 29 per cent of the crop was treated with a pesticide (see Figure 29 for types of pesticides used)
  • 790 hectares of pesticide formulations were applied and 687 kilograms of pesticides were used in total (see summary table below)
  • 27 per cent of the fodder rape crop was treated with a herbicide, receiving on average one application ( Table 1)
  • The timing of pesticide applications are shown in Figure 30
  • 53 per cent of herbicide use was for grass/pasture kill and 47 per cent was for general weed control. All insecticide use was for flea beetle
  • The most common varieties encountered were Hobson accounting for 18 per cent of the sampled area and Swift, a rape/kale hybrid accounting for 17 per cent

Summary of pesticide use on fodder rape

Pesticide group Formulation area treated Weight of pesticides applied Percentage of crop treated Most used formulations
ha kg % ha
Herbicides 585 663 27 Glyphosate (383)
Insecticides 36 <0.5 2 Cypermethrin (36)
Molluscicides 107 22 5 Metaldehyde (107)
Seed treatments 63 2 3 Thiram (63)
All pesticides 790 687 29  

Figure 29: Use of pesticides on fodder rape (percentage of total area treated with formulations) – 2017

Figure 29: Use of pesticides on fodder rape (percentage of total area treated with formulations) – 2017

Figure 30: Timing of pesticide applications on fodder rape - 2017

Figure 30: Timing of pesticide applications on fodder rape - 2017

Kale and cabbage

  • 1,915 hectares of kale and cabbage were grown in 2017, a six per cent increase from 2013
  • 99 per cent of the crop was kale and one per cent was cabbage
  • The cabbage crop was grown from transplants
  • It is estimated that 45 per cent of the kale and cabbage encountered was mixed with another crop such as fodder rape or turnips
  • A further 190 hectares of kale, kale hybrid and kale mixes were recorded in the ‘other crops for stock-feeding’ category (see the other fodder section for details)
  • 49 per cent of the crop was treated with a pesticide (see Figure 31 for types of pesticides applied)
  • 1,830 hectares of pesticide formulations were applied and 489 kilograms of pesticide used in total (see summary table below)
  • The kale and cabbage crop received on average 1.2 herbicide and 1.1 insecticide sprays on 19 and 14 per cent of the crop area respectively ( Table 1)
  • The timings of pesticide applications are shown in Figure 32
  • Reasons were provided for 39 per cent of herbicide use on kale and cabbage; 18 per cent was for grass/pasture kill, 11 per cent for general weed control, seven per cent for annual broad-leaved weeds and three per cent for annual meadow grass. Reasons were supplied for 69 per cent of insecticide use; 56 per cent was for flea beetle and 13 per cent for diamond-back moth
  • The most common variety encountered was Maris Kestrel, accounting for 29 per cent of the sample area surveyed

Summary of pesticide use on kale and cabbage

Pesticide group Formulation area treated Weight of pesticides applied Percentage of crop treated Most used formulations
ha kg % ha
Herbicides 503 460 19 Glyphosate (231), Metazachlor (132)
Insecticides 293 4 14 Deltamethrin (81), Lambda-cyhalothrin (48)
Molluscicides 33 4 2 Metaldehyde (33)
Seed treatments 1,001 21 35 Thiamethoxam (622), Thiram (379)
All pesticides 1,830 489 49  

Figure 31: Use of pesticides on kale and cabbage (percentage of total area treated with formulations) – 2017

Figure 31: Use of pesticides on kale and cabbage (percentage of total area treated with formulations) – 2017

Figure 32: Timing of pesticide applications on kale and cabbage - 2017

Figure 32: Timing of pesticide applications on kale and cabbage - 2017

Maize

  • An estimated 792 hectares of maize was grown in Scotland in 2017, a 44 per cent decrease since 2013
  • All of the maize crop was treated with a pesticide
  • 52 per cent of pesticides, by area applied, were seed treatments and 48 per cent were herbicides
  • The maize crop received on average 1.1 applications of herbicides ( Table 1)
  • 2,392 hectares of pesticide formulations were applied and a total of 1,017 kilograms of pesticides were used (see summary table below)
  • The timings of pesticide applications are shown in Figure 33
  • 89 per cent of herbicide use was for general weed control, eight per cent for grass kill and three per cent for couch grass
  • The most common variety encountered was Kaspian, accounting for 62 per cent of the sampled area
  • 19 per cent of the sampled area was covered by plastic film at crop establishment

Summary of pesticide use on maize

Pesticide group Formulation area treated Weight of pesticides applied Percentage of crop treated Most used formulations
ha kg % ha
Herbicides 1,149 896 100 Pendimethalin (649), Dimethenamid-P/ pendimethalin (240)
Seed treatments 1,243 122 100 Methiocarb (792), Thiram (409)
All pesticides 2,392 1,017 100  

Figure 33: Timing of herbicide applications on maize - 2017

Figure 33: Timing of herbicide applications on maize - 2017

Stubble turnips

  • An estimated 339 hectares of stubble turnips were grown in Scotland in 2017
  • A further 398 hectares of stubble turnips and stubble turnips fodder crop mixes were recorded in the ‘other crops for stock-feeding’ category (see the other fodder section for details)
  • Stubble turnips are often a constituent of other fodder mixes and therefore it is likely that the estimated area grown is under-estimated
  • No pesticides were applied to the stubble turnips crop
  • The most common variety encountered was Tyfon, accounting for 23 per cent of the sampled area

Turnips and swedes

  • 3,806 hectares of turnips and swedes were grown in Scotland in 2017, representing a seven per cent decrease from 2013
  • A further 207 hectares of turnips and swedes and turnips and swedes fodder crop mixes were recorded in the ‘other crops for stock-feeding’ category (see the other fodder section for details)
  • 92 per cent of the crop was treated with a pesticide (see Figure 34 for types of pesticides applied)
  • 8,544 hectares of pesticide formulations were applied and 1,773 kilograms of pesticides were used in total (see summary table below)
  • On average turnips and swedes received 1.1 herbicide applications on 67 per cent of the crop ( Table 1)
  • The timing of pesticide applications is shown in Figure 35
  • Half of fungicide use on turnips and swedes was for mildew and half was for phoma leaf spot. Reasons were given for 92 per cent of herbicide use; 83 per cent was for general weed control, five per cent for broad-leaved weeds, three per cent for annual meadow grass and one per cent for couch grass. Reasons were provided for 67 per cent of insecticide use; 46 per cent was for diamond-back moth and 21 per cent for flea beetle
  • The most common varieties encountered were Lomond and Ruta Otofte accounting for 20 and 19 per cent of the sample area respectively

Summary of pesticide use on turnips and swedes

Pesticide group Formulation area treated Weight of pesticides applied Percentage of crop treated Most used formulations
ha kg % ha
Herbicides 3,277 1,747 67 Metazachlor (1,115), Dimethenamid-P/ metazachlor (812)
Fungicides 79 15 2 Prothioconazole (79)
Insecticides 283 2 7 Deltamethrin (283)
Seed treatments 4,906 9 80 Thiamethoxam (2,606), Thiram (2,227)
All pesticides 8,544 1,773 92  

Figure 34: Use of pesticides on turnips and swedes (percentage of total area treated with formulations) – 2017

Figure 34: Use of pesticides on turnips and swedes (percentage of total area treated with formulations) – 2017

Figure 35: Timing of herbicide applications on turnips and swedes - 2017

Figure 35: Timing of herbicide applications on turnips and swedes - 2017

Other fodder crops

  • 1,033 hectares of other fodder crops were grown in Scotland in 2017
  • Other fodder consists of any crops other than arable silage reported in the ‘other crops for stock-feeding’ category
  • In 2017 this consisted of red clover, swedes, kale, stubble turnips and fodder crop mixes
  • 48 per cent of the crop was treated with a pesticide (see Figure 36 for types of pesticides applied)
  • 1,017 hectares of pesticide formulations and 361 kilograms of pesticides were applied (see summary table below)
  • The other fodder crop received on average one application of herbicides on 38 per cent of the crop ( Table 1)
  • All herbicides were applied in May and all insecticides were applied in June
  • All insecticide use was for flea beetle. Eighty per cent of herbicide use was for general weed control and 20 per cent for destroying the previous crop

Summary of estimated pesticide use on other fodder crops

Pesticide group Formulation area treated Weight of pesticides applied Percentage of crop treated Most used formulations
ha kg % ha
Herbicides 420 356 38 Dimethenamid-P/ Metazachlor (152)
Insecticides 75 1 7 Lambda-cyhalothrin (75)
Seed treatments 522 5 30 Thiram (312), Thiamethoxam (210)
All pesticides 1,017 361 48  

Figure 36: Use of pesticides on other fodder (percentage of total area treated with formulations) – 2017

Figure 36: Use of pesticides on other fodder (percentage of total area treated with formulations) – 2017


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