Pesticide Usage in Scotland: Protected Edible Crops 2015 - Summary Report

Report on a survey of pesticide use on protected edible crops in Scotland.

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Appendix 3 - Definitions and notes

1) ' Pesticide' is used throughout this report to include commercial formulations containing active substances (a.s.) used as herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, molluscicides, biological control agents, biopesticides, soil sterilants and seed treatments. A pesticide product consists of one or more active substances co-formulated with other materials.

2) An active substance (or active ingredient) is any substance or micro-organism which has a general or specific action against harmful organisms; or on plants, parts of plants or plant products.

3) In this report the term ' formulation(s)' is used to describe the pesticide active substance or mixture of active substances in a product(s). It does not refer to any of the solvents, pH modifiers or adjuvants also contained within a product that contribute to its efficacy.

4) Biological control is use of a micro-organism, such as a bacteria or virus, or, macro-organisms, such as insect predators or nematodes that are used to control insect pests, weeds and diseases. In this report biologicals which do not require to be authorised are referred to as biological control agents. These are generally macro-organisms such as parasites or predators. Biologicals which do require to be authorised like other pesticides are referred to as biopesticides. Biopesticides are pesticides that are derived from natural materials and include micro-organisms (bacteria, fungus, virus or protozoa) to control pest populations or compounds such as semio-chemicals that cause behavioural changes in the target pest. In previous surveys biopesticides were included in the biological control agent category.

5) A fungicide is a pesticide used to control fungal diseases in plants.

6) A herbicide is a pesticide used to control unwanted vegetation (weed killer).

7) An insecticide is a pesticide used to control unwanted insects. An acaricide is a pesticide used to control mites. As some products are approved for use against both insects and mites, insecticide and acaricide use have been combined in this report.

8) A molluscicide is a pesticide used to control unwanted slugs and snails.

9) A soil sterilant is a pesticide used to control unwanted diseases or insects in soil.

10) A seed treatment is a pesticide applied to seed before planting to protect that plant against diseases and pests from the earliest stage of development. The pesticide can be either a fungicide or an insecticide.

11) A physical control agent is a substance, preparation or organism designed or used for destroying or controlling pests if their principal mode of action does not involve chemical or biological action.

12) Disinfectants, although not a pesticide, are also included in this report. Disinfectants are not applied directly to the crop; however they are used in the protected area as glasshouse washes and for the sterilisation of equipment, trays and pots etc.

13) This report only includes protected edible crops (excluding soft fruit). Protected means that the crops were permanently covered by glass or polytunnel. Crops grown under temporary structures such as French or Spanish tunnels are excluded from this survey.

14) Basic area is the planted area of crop which was treated with a given pesticide or pesticide group, irrespective of the number of times it was applied to that area. Basic areas are not presented anywhere in the report, but their values are used to calculate the percentage of crop treated with a given pesticide or pesticide group.

15) Area treated is the basic area of a crop treated with a given pesticide multiplied by the number of treatments that area received. These terms are synonymous with "spray area" and "spray hectare" which have appeared in previous reports. For example, if a field of five hectares gets sprayed with the same fungicide twice, the basic area is five hectares, and the treated area is ten hectares.

16) Farmers/growers can apply pesticides to crops by a number of different methods. Multiple pesticides can be applied to a crop in a single tank mix. For example a crop could be sprayed with two different fungicides and an insecticide at the same time.

17) In this report each pesticide is reported in two formats. The area of each pesticide is reported as a formulation i.e. mixture of active substances in a product (Tables 2 to 4). Quantities of active ingredient are reported in Tables 5 to 7. It should be noted that separate active substance tables have not been included in this report as all pesticide formulations encountered only contained one active substance (excluding disinfectants). The different formats are provided to satisfy the needs of all data users and allow them to assess pesticide use trends. Both quantity and area of pesticide applications are important indicators of changes in use over time. Different pesticides are applied at different dose rates and only by comparing both area and quantity can trends in use be elucidated.

18) It should be noted that some herbicides may not have been applied directly to the crop itself but either as land preparation treatments prior to sowing/planting the crop, or to the ground beneath crops grown on table tops, or the pathways between crops.

19) The areas of crop grown include successional sowings during the same season; therefore the areas of crops grown can be larger than the total area of glasshouses and polytunnels. This is referred to throughout the report as multi-cropping.

20) The June Agricultural Census is conducted annually by the Scottish Government's Rural and Environmental Science Analytical Services ( RESAS). The June Agricultural Census collects data on land use, crop areas, livestock and the number of people working on agricultural holdings. For this report the June Agricultural Census was used to draw a sample of growers growing the relevant crops to participate in the survey.

21) Throughout this report the term ' census area' refers to the total area for a particular crop or group of crops recorded within the June Agricultural Census. These are the areas which the sampled areas are raised to. Please see Appendix 4 - survey methodology for details. The June Agricultural Census Form is divided up into different categories which relates to a particular crop or group of crops. These are referred to as ' census categories' throughout this report.

22) Where quoted in the text or within figures, reasons for application are the growers' stated reasons for use of that particular pesticide on that crop and may not always seem appropriate.

23) Protected edible crops include all tomatoes and vegetable crops including vegetables in propagation. Vegetables in propagation are vegetable plants (seedlings) for sale to other growers.

24) Due to rounding, there may be slight differences in totals both within and between tables.

25) Data from the 2011 4 and 2013 5 surveys are provided for comparison purposes in some of the tables, although it should be noted that there may be minor differences in the range of crops surveyed, together with changes in areas of each of the crops grown. Changes from previous surveys are described in Appendix 4 - survey methodology.

26) Integrated pest management The sustainable use directive 6 defines IPM as follows; "'integrated pest management' means careful consideration of all available plant protection methods and subsequent integration of appropriate measures that discourage the development of populations of harmful organisms and keep the use of plant protection products and other forms of intervention to levels that are economically and ecologically justified and reduce or minimise risks to human health and the environment. 'Integrated pest management' emphasises the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption to agro-ecosystems and encourages natural pest control mechanisms."

27) The average number of applications ( figure 6) is calculated only on the areas using each pesticide group and therefore the minimum number of applications is always one. Several pesticides may be applied as a tank mix as part of the same spray event; therefore the average number of pesticide sprays reported is less than the sum of sprays of each chemical group.


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