Pesticide Usage in Scotland: Arable crops and Potato stores 2022

This publication presents information from a survey of pesticide use on Arable crops and Potato stores in Scotland during 2022.

Pesticide Usage in Scotland : Arable Crops 2022

Executive summary

This report presents information from a survey of pesticide use on arable crops grown in Scotland. The survey period covers the 2022 growing season, from post-harvest pesticide applications in 2021 through to harvest in 2022. The crop groups surveyed included cereals, oilseeds, potatoes and legumes.

The estimated area of arable crops grown in Scotland in 2022 was ca. 487,000 hectares. Spring barley accounted for 48 per cent of the arable crop area, wheat 22 per cent, winter barley nine per cent, oilseeds seven per cent, potatoes six per cent and spring oats four per cent. Winter oats, winter rye, triticale and legumes together accounted for the remaining four per cent.

Data were collected from a total of 332 holdings, representing eight per cent of the total arable crop area grown in Scotland. Ratio raising was used to produce estimates of national pesticide use from the sample data.

The estimated total area of arable crops treated with a pesticide formulation was ca. 4,685,000 hectares (± three per cent Relative Standard Error, RSE) with a combined weight of ca. 1,200 tonnes (± four per cent RSE). Overall, pesticides were applied to 97 per cent of the arable crop area. Fungicides were applied to 94 per cent of the crop area, herbicides/desiccants to 93 per cent, growth regulators to 56 per cent, insecticides to 19 per cent and molluscicides to eight per cent. Pesticide treatments were applied to 82 per cent of seed in this survey.

Overall, use of pesticides in 2022 has remained broadly similar to the previous two arable surveys. Taking into account changes in crop area, the 2022 total pesticide treated area was two per cent lower than that reported in 2020 and one per cent higher than 2018. The weight of pesticide applied to arable crops in 2022 was 12 per cent lower than in 2020 and eight per cent lower than 2018.

Fungicide use by area treated increased three per cent while the weight applied decreased six per cent compared to 2020 levels. Herbicide/desiccant use decreased by eight and 19 per cent by area treated and by weight applied respectively when compared to 2020. The area treated with insecticides/ nematicides decreased by seven per cent from 2020, while the weight applied decreased by 50 per cent. Molluscicide use decreased 28 and 29 per cent by area treated and by weight respectively when compared to 2020. Seed treatment use decreased eight per cent by area treated and the weight applied decreased 17 per cent from 2020. The area treated in 2020 with growth regulators increased 16 per cent while there was no change in the weight applied from 2020 levels.

In terms of area treated, the most commonly used foliar fungicide active substance was prothioconazole. The most used herbicide and insecticide was fluroxypyr and lambda-cyhalothrin respectively. The most commonly used seed treatment active substance was fludioxonil. The herbicide thiencarbazone-methyl and the fungicides fenpicoxamid and laminarin were recorded for the first time in this survey.



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