News

Pesticide Usage in Scotland

Published: 03 Oct 2018 09:30

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scottish Government reports published today, show pesticide use on both outdoor vegetable and fodder crops grown in Scotland in 2017 has declined. Grassland and rough grazing continue to have low pesticide input with applications very similar to that previously reported. A reduction in the use of rodenticides used to control rodents on grass and fodder farms was also recorded. The Scottish Government recognises that pesticide use is influenced by a range of factors, but welcomes the decreases in use reported in 2017.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published three reports in relation to Pesticide Usage in Scotland. These were: pesticide use on outdoor vegetable crops in 2017, pesticide use on grassland and fodder crops in 2017 and rodenticide use on grassland and fodder farms in 2017.

Overall, pesticide applications to Scottish outdoor vegetable crops in 2017 were almost a fifth lower than in the previous survey in 2015. Ninety three per cent of vegetable crops were treated with a pesticide in 2017. The treated area received on average 5.4 pesticide sprays with a total combined application weight of ca. 66 tonnes.

Pesticide applications to Scottish fodder crops in 2017 were almost a third lower than in the previous survey in 2013. Sixty three per cent of fodder crops were treated with a pesticide in 2017, which received on average 1.4 pesticide sprays with a total combined application weight of 8 tonnes. Data were collected about fodder growers’ Integrated Pest Management (IPM) activities. A wide variety of IPM techniques were recorded and 87 per cent of growers sampled used non-chemical pest control in partnership with, or instead of, chemical control.

Pesticide input into grassland was low, with four per cent of grassland and <0.5 per cent of rough grazing treated with a pesticide. The treated area received on average one spray, which were almost exclusively herbicides. Pesticide applications to grassland were very similar to those encountered in the previous survey in 2013.

It was estimated that rodenticides were used on 35 per cent of grass and fodder farms in 2017, a reduction from the 43 per cent using rodenticides in 2013. Approximately 130 tonnes of rodenticide bait, containing less than 7 kg of active substance, was estimated to have been used. This was 40 per cent lower than in the previous survey in 2013. As in the previous surveys, the rodenticides encountered were almost exclusively second generation anticoagulant compounds and the majority of rodenticide users complied with all aspects of the principles of best practice in rodenticide use.

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff, free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Background

The full statistical publications are available at:

Pesticide Usage in Scotland: Outdoor Vegetable Crops 2017

www.gov.scot/stats/bulletins/01318

Pesticide Usage in Scotland: Grassland and Fodder crops 2017

www.gov.scot/stats/bulletins/01317

Pesticide Usage in Scotland: Rodenticides on Grassland and Fodder Farms 2017

www.gov.scot/stats/bulletins/01319

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 grassland and fodder 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:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Agriculture-Fisheries

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About