Pesticide use in strawberries fell by 86% in five years

In active substances The recalculated amount of pesticides used in Latvia per hectare of fruit trees and berry bushes has decreased, according to the preliminary data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) on the use of pesticides in crop sowings and plantations for the 2019 harvest.

The amount of pesticides used for apples per hectare of plantation decreased from 1.28 kg in 2014 to 0.82 kg in 2019 or by 36%, for cherries from 1.28 kg to 0.31 kg or by 76%, for plums – from 0 , 83 kg to 0.30 kg or 63%, for pears – from 2.18 kg to 1.87 kg or by 14%, for raspberries – from 0.44 kg to 0.16 kg or by 63%, but for strawberries – from 0.44 kg to 0.06 kg or by 86%.

In 2019, 23% of plum areas, 25% raspberries, 30% apples, 31% cherries, 36% strawberries and 56% pear areas were treated with pesticides.

“Depending on the weather, the use of pesticides varies from year to year. In dry conditions, various pests, which are controlled by insecticides, develop more, and in wet conditions, both disease and weed populations, which are controlled by fungicides and herbicides, respectively. 2019 was relatively drier – especially spring and the first half of summer, therefore diseases developed less and fungicides were used little to control them, but in some fields they did not need to be used at all, ┬╗emphasizes Vents Ezers, Director of the Plant Protection Department of the State Plant Protection Service.

The amount of pesticides used has increased for carrots, beets and onions, decreased for cabbage

The amount of pesticides used per hectare of sown and planted areas in open field vegetable areas has increased for carrots, beets and onions, but decreased for cabbage. In 2019, the amount of pesticides used in one hectare of carrot sowings increased from 2.09 kg in 2014 to 3.34 kg in 2019 or by 60%, onions – from 3.03 kg to 3.49 kg or by 15%, respectively, but table beets – from 0.70 to 1.78 kg or by 153%.

The amount of pesticides used per hectare in cabbage plantations decreased from 1.01 kg in 2014 to 0.86 kg in 2019 or by 15%, but in potato plantations from 2.05 kg to 2.00 kg or by 2.4%, respectively.

In 2019, 87% of cabbage, 89% of onion plantations, 90% of carrots and beet crops were treated with pesticides, mainly herbicides to control weeds. Pesticides were used in 67% of potato plantations.

The increase in pesticides is influenced by the increase in the use of herbicides for certain vegetable crops

The increase in the amount of pesticides used per hectare of sown carrots in open field vegetables was influenced by the increase in the use of herbicides from 1.83 kg in 2014 to 3.10 kg in 2019 or by 69%, for beets – from 0.69 kg to 1.68 kg, respectively. or by 143% and onions – from 1.15 kg to 1.96 kg or by 70%.

“The increase in herbicide use can be explained by seasonal differences in different years, which affect the range of herbicides used. Effective weed control in vegetable areas is a key condition for harvesting. The decision on the choice of a particular type of herbicide depends on the stage of development of the crop and the weather conditions. In the 2019 season, dry weather conditions made it necessary to use herbicides after crop germination, such as prosulfocarb and metamitron preparations, the consumption of which was relatively higher per hectare, ┬╗explains Ezers.

Fungicides are most used for apples and raspberries

In 2019, fungicides were mostly used for apples and raspberries – 78% of the total amount of pesticides used for both apples and raspberries, pears 66%, cherries – 62%, strawberries – 77%, potatoes – 84%.

In turn, herbicides for weed control are most used in table beet sowings – 94% of the total amount of pesticides used in table beet sowings, in carrot areas, respectively 93%, in cabbage plantations – 75%, in onion plantations – 56%.

Last year, insecticides were used very little

Last year, insecticides were used very little – only 21% of pears and 11% of the amount of pesticides used in cabbage plantations were insecticides.

The use of pesticides on crops is also affected by the use of pesticides containing heavier active substances. In 2019, three herbicide active substances – aclonifen, pendimethalin and prosulfocarb – accounted for 85% of all pesticides used in carrots to control weeds in carrots.

In table beet areas, 48% of the total amount of pesticides used was one herbicide active substance – metamitron, the use of which per hectare of beets increased from 0.93 kg in 2014 to 1.49 kg in 2019 or by 60%.

In onion areas, 87% of the total amount of pesticides used in onions consisted of the herbicide active ingredients aclonifen, pendimethalin and a fungicide, which provides plant protection against fungal diseases – mancozeb.

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