Northern Ireland pesticide usage survey report 156
is the third survey examining pesticide usage practices on grassland and fodder crops in Northern Ireland,
providing comparative data to that obtained from previous surveys in 1989 (Jess et al., 1992) and 1993
(Jess et al., 1995). Information on all aspects of pesticide usage was collected from 257 farms throughout
the Province, representing 1.5% of the total area of grassland and fodder crops grown. Quantitative
data obtained were adjusted to provide estimates of total pesticide usage.
the area of grassland and fodder crops grown increased by 10% and 22% when compared to that previously
recorded in 1989 and 1993, respectively. There was an increase in the areas of established grassland
crops treated with pesticides when compared to both 1989 and 1993 of 13% and 21%, respectively. In 1993,
a 70% decrease was recorded in the areas of sown grassland crops compared with that recorded in 1989.
The areas of these crops recorded in 1997 was 48% higher than that observed in 1993. The area of fodder
crops grown in Northern Ireland in 1997 was 43% greater than that recorded in 1989 and over seven times
higher than that recorded in 1993.
The area of grassland and fodder crops
receiving pesticide treatment also increased when compared to that recorded in 1989 and 1993 by 9% and
31%, respectively. A total of 170 tonnes of pesticides were applied to 119,978 spray hectares of grassland
and fodder crops during 1997. Herbicides accounted for 91% of the pesticide-treated area, representing
99% of the weight of pesticides applied. Seed treatments accounted for a further 8% of the treated area.
The quantity of seed treatment active ingredients applied represented only 1% of the total active ingredients
used. Fungicides, insecticides and growth regulators collectively accounted for the remainder of the
total pesticide usage. No molluscicides were recorded in use during the survey period.
area of rough grazing farmed and treated with pesticides has continued to decline since 1989. However,
pesticide usage on enclosed grazing and grass silage increased when compared to previous surveys. While
pesticide usage on sown grassland crops decreased significantly when compared with 1989, the area treated
in 1997 was 34% higher than that recorded in 1993. There was a significant increase in pesticide usage
on fodder crops when compared to previous surveys, especially when compared to 1993.
remained the most extensively used pesticide type on grassland and fodder crops. Overall applications
of this pesticide type increased when compared with both 1989 and 1993. MCPA and mecoprop continued
to be the most frequently used herbicide active ingredients. The main reason given for herbicide applications
was to control docks (Rumex spp.).
A total of fifty-seven products comprising
thirty active ingredients were recorded in this survey. Overall, the most frequently recorded active
ingredients were MCPA and mecoprop.
A full list of published reports
is available together with abstracts from other relevant published work.
For further information on this work please contact:
Pesticide Usage Survey Group
Agri-food and Biosciences Institute
Belfast BT9 5PX
Tel: +44 (0)28 90 255689
Fax: +44 (0)28 90 255035