Pesticide usage in Scotland: arable crops and potato stores 2016

This publication presents information from a survey of pesticide use on arable crops and potato stores in Scotland during 2016.

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Executive summary - Arable Crops

This report presents information from a survey of pesticide use on arable crops grown in Scotland. The survey period covers the 2016 growing season, from post-harvest pesticide applications in 2015 through to harvest in 2016. The crop groups surveyed included cereals, oilseeds, potatoes and legumes.

The estimated area of arable crops grown in Scotland in 2016 was ca. 494,167. Spring barley accounted for 49 per cent of the arable crop area, wheat 22 per cent, winter barley ten per cent, winter oilseed rape six per cent and spring oats five per cent. Potatoes, legumes and winter oats together accounted for the remaining eight per cent. Data were collected from a total of 288 holdings, representing seven per cent of the total arable crop area grown in Scotland. Ratio raising was used to produce estimates of national pesticide use from the sampled data.

The estimated total area of arable crops treated with a pesticide formulation was ca. 4,851,771 ha (± three per cent Relative Standard Error, RSE) with a combined weight of ca. 1,490 tonnes (± four per cent RSE). Overall, pesticides were applied to 98 per cent of the arable crop area. Herbicides were applied to 96 per cent of the crop area, fungicides to 94 per cent, growth regulators to 46 per cent, insecticides to 23 per cent and molluscicides to eight per cent. Ninety one per cent of seed was treated with a pesticide.

When the pesticide application data are corrected for the area of crop grown, there is little difference in area treated in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Although, the weight of pesticides applied increased slightly from 2014 to 2016 and 2012 to 2016. There was little change in the area treated by fungicides and growth regulators from 2014 to 2016. The application of herbicides, sulphur and molluscicides increased (5, 12 and 36 per cent respectively), whilst the application of insecticides decreased (27 per cent).

In terms of area treated, the most used foliar fungicide active substance was prothioconazole. Glyphosate and mecoprop-P were the most used herbicides and lambda-cyhalothrin was the most used insecticide active substance. Prochloraz was the most used seed treatment active substance. The herbicides halauxifen-methyl, metobromuron and pyraflufen-ethyl were recorded for the first time in 2016.

Data collected from growers about their Integrated Pest Management ( IPM) activities showed that growers were using a variety of IPM methods in relation to risk management and the monitoring and control of insect pests, weeds and diseases.


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