Pesticide Usage in Scotland

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published three reports in relation to Pesticide Usage in Scotland. These were: pesticide use on arable crops and potato stores in 2016, pesticide use on soft fruit crops in 2016 and rodenticides on arable farms 2016.

Ninety eight per cent of arable crops in Scotland were treated with a pesticide in 2016 with a total combined application weight of 1,490 tonnes. Fungicides were the most frequently used pesticides on arable crops, followed by herbicides and insecticides.  Overall, pesticide application was very similar to that reported in the previous survey in 2014.  For the first time information was collected about grower adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) measures in relation to risk management, pest monitoring and pest control.  In relation to pesticide use on stored potatoes, 47 per cent of seed potatoes and 11 per cent of ware potatoes were treated with a pesticide in 2016.  These proportions are the same as reported in 2014. 

Ninety four per cent of soft fruit crops in Scotland were treated with pesticides, with a total combined weight of 14.7 tonnes. Insecticides/acaricides and fungicides were the main pesticide types encountered.  Overall pesticide application was 32 per cent lower in 2016 than reported in 2014.  Growers were using a variety of IPM methods in relation to risk management, pest monitoring and pest control.  Almost all of the growers, 96 per cent of the sample, used non-chemical control in partnership with, or instead of, chemical control.

It was estimated that rodenticides were used on 78 per cent of arable farms in 2016. Approximately 91 tonnes of rodenticide bait, containing less than five kg of active substance, was estimated to have been used.  This was 19 per cent lower than in the previous survey in 2014.  The rodenticides encountered were almost exclusively second generation anticoagulant compounds.

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.


The full statistical publications are available at:

Pesticide Usage in Scotland: Arable Crops and Potato Stores 2016

Pesticide Usage in Scotland: Soft Fruit Crops 2016 

Pesticide Usage in Scotland: Rodenticides on Arable Farms 2016

These reports are part of a series of surveys which are produced to estimate pesticide usage in Scotland. Each crop report details pesticide usage in terms of weight, area and percentage of crop treated with pesticides. The Rodenticide report estimates rodenticide use on Scottish arable farms.  Rodenticides are used to control rodents (rats and mice). Commentary is also provided on recent changes in survey data and longer term trends.

These statistics are used for a variety of purposes including informing Scottish Government Policy about the post-approval use of pesticides.

Further information on Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural statistics within Scotland can be accessed at:

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:

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