Publication - Statistics publication

Pesticide usage in Scotland: rodenticides on arable farms 2016

Published: 31 Oct 2017
Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate
Part of:
Farming and rural

This report presents the results of a survey of rodenticide use on arable farms in Scotland in 2016.

39 page PDF

1.1 MB

39 page PDF

1.1 MB

Pesticide usage in Scotland: rodenticides on arable farms 2016

39 page PDF

1.1 MB


The Scottish Government ( SG) conducts post-approval surveillance of rodenticide use. This monitoring is conducted by the Pesticide Survey Unit at Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture ( SASA), a division of the Scottish Government's Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate. As part of this programme a survey of rodenticide use on farms growing arable crops was conducted in 2016. This is the 13 th survey in this series carried out biennially since 1992.

The Scottish Pesticide Usage reports have been designated as Official Statistics since August 2012 and as National Statistics since October 2014. The Chief Statistician (Roger Halliday) acts as the statistics Head of Profession for the Scottish Government and has overall responsibility for the quality, format, content and timing of all Scottish Government national statistics publications, including the pesticide usage reports. As well as working closely with Scottish Government statisticians, SASA receives survey specific statistical support from Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland ( BioSS).

All reports are produced according to a published timetable. For further information in relation to Pesticide Survey Unit publications and their compliance with the code of practice please refer to the pesticide usage survey section of the SASA website. The website also contains other useful documentation such as confidentiality and revision policies, user feedback and detailed background information on survey methodology.

Additional information regarding pesticide use can be supplied by the Pesticide Survey unit. Please email or visit the survey unit website:

Structure of report and how to use these statistics

This report is intended to provide data in a useful format to a wide variety of data users. The results and comparison section presents the results from this survey in comparison with results from previous surveys in 2012 (1) and 2014 (2) .

Appendix 1 contains tables of results, including estimates of rodenticide use, responses to questions about compliance with best practice and rodenticide stewardship and operational information about sample farms. Appendix 2 summarises survey statistics including census and holding information, raising factors and survey response rates. Appendix 3 outlines the estimated financial burden to survey respondents. Appendix 4 defines the terms used throughout the report. Appendix 5 describes the methods used during sampling, data collection and analysis as well as measures undertaken to avoid bias and reduce uncertainty. Changes in method or data collection from previous survey years are also outlined in Appendix 5.

It is important to note that the figures presented in this report are produced by surveying a sample of holdings rather than a census of all the holdings in Scotland. Therefore the figures are estimates of total rodenticide use on Scottish arable farms and should not be interpreted as exact.

Data uses

The data collected by the Pesticide Survey Unit are used for a number of purposes including:

  • To inform UK and Scottish Government Policy about the post-approval use of pesticides
  • To aid Government officials in their response to Scottish Parliamentary and Ministerial questions regarding the use of pesticides
  • To inform and complement research projects conducted by agricultural research institutions
  • To inform and prioritise monitoring strategies of environmental quality bodies
  • To provide data to the pesticide industry to allow insight into the use patterns of pesticidal products
  • To provide information to interested or concerned environmental and wildlife groups and members of the public
  • To provide an educational resource for teaching and student research projects

Case studies of how the Scottish dataset has been used are provided on the SASA webpage.