Pesticide usage report: Soft fruit crops 2006
This report presents information from a survey of pesticide usage practices on soft fruit crops in Northern Ireland in 2006. It is the third pesticide survey to be conducted on soft fruit crops in the region. Data was collected from 28 growers representing 82% of all soft fruit holdings in Northern Ireland. The data has been raised to give estimates of regional pesticide usage.
Compared with the previous survey in 1998, the total area of soft fruit crops grown has decreased by 45% to an estimated 27 hectares (ha). The quantity of pesticide used decreased accordingly (57%), with the area treated with pesticides decreasing by 25% between 1998 and 2006.
A total of 188 kilograms of pesticides were applied to 211 spray hectares of soft fruit crops in 2006.
Fungicide usage decreased by 12% compared to 1998. Fungicides were applied to 64% of the total pesticide-treated area representing 52% of the total weight of pesticides used in 2006. Iprodione and myclobutanil were the most commonly used fungicides.
Herbicide usage decreased by an estimated 59% compared with 1998. Herbicide active ingredients were applied to 12% of the total pesticide-treated area (15% of the total weight of pesticides used). In common with 1998, paraquat was the most commonly used herbicide.
Insecticide usage decreased by 9% compared with 1998, despite the 45% decrease in area of soft fruit grown. Insecticide active ingredients accounted for 18% of the total pesticide-treated area and 4% of the total weight of pesticides applied in 2006. Pyrethroids replaced organophosphates as the most commonly used insecticide type with the active ingredient bifenthrin being the most frequently applied.
Biopesticides (including macro-organisms and natural products) were applied to 5% of the treated area in 2006, compared with 1% in 1998. Applications were principally to control vine weevil and two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae).
The three most frequently used active ingredients were the fungicides Iprodione, myclobutanil and tolylfluanid. The area treated with myclobutanil in 2006 remained similar to 1998, with approximately 29 hectares treated in 2006 and 27 hectares treated in 1998.
For further information on this work please contact: Pesticide Usage Monitoring Group