Pesticide usage report: Mushroom crops 2007

Date published: 20 November 2008

Pesticide usage report: Mushroom crops 2007



This report presents information from a survey of pesticide usage practices on mushroom crops in Northern Ireland in 2007.  It is the fourth survey of pesticide usage practices conducted on the mushroom sector in the region.  Data were collected from 52 growers, representing 95% of all mushroom holdings in Northern Ireland.

Compared with the previous survey in 1999, the number of growers decreased by 81% with the basic cropping area decreasing by 73% to approximately 10 hectares (ha).  The quantity of pesticides used decreased accordingly by 86% and the area treated with pesticides decreased by 79% between 1999 and 2007.

A total of 554 kilograms of pesticides and 4.8 tonnes of disinfectant chemicals were applied to 135 and 100 spray hectares of mushroom production houses, respectively.

In common with previous surveys, fungicides applied to 40% of the pesticide-treated area accounted for the majority (91%) of the weight of pesticides used.  The fungicide active ingredient prochloraz was the most extensively used pesticide overall, applied to 35% of the pesticide-treated area and 89% of the fungicide-treated area.

Applications of insecticides were applied principally to the interior walls and structure of the mushroom houses prior to crop production.  The active ingredient bendiocarb accounted for 91% of insecticide usage.

The only biological control agent recorded in this survey was the insect-pathogenic nematode Steinernema feltiae.

Disinfectants usage on yard areas outside the mushroom houses and as part of the house sterilisation process decreased by 22% in area compared with 1999.  However, the quantity of disinfectants used increased by 25%, principally due to the high concentration of chlorine active ingredient in some products.

A total of 18 products, comprising seven pesticide active ingredients, four disinfectant active ingredients and one biological control agent were recorded in this survey.

For further information on this work please contact: Pesticide usage monitoring group