Pesticide usage report: Soft fruit crops 2010

Date published: 20 November 2011

Pesticide usage report: Soft fruit crops 2010



This report presents information from a survey of pesticide usage practices on soft fruit crops in Northern Ireland in 2010. It is the fourth pesticide survey to be conducted on soft fruit crops in the region. Data was collected from 27 growers representing 84% of all soft fruit holdings in Northern Ireland. No soft fruit crops were grown in County Fermanagh during this survey period. The data have been raised to give estimates of regional pesticide usage.

Compared with the previous survey carried out in 2006, the total area of soft fruit crops has decreased by 37% to an estimated 17 hectares, with the quantity of pesticide used decreasing by 69%. The area treated with pesticides (spray hectares) decreased by 44% between 2006 and 2010.

A total of 58 kilograms of pesticides were applied to 117 spray hectares of soft fruit crops in 2010. Strawberries were the most commonly produced soft fruit, with 55 kilograms of pesticides being applied to 113 spray hectares.

Fungicide usage decreased by 39% compared with 2006. Fungicides were applied to 70% of the total pesticide-treated area representing 70% of the total weight of pesticides used in 2010. Myclobutanil and iprodione were the most commonly used fungicides.

Herbicide usage decreased by an estimated 75% compared with 2006. Herbicide active ingredients were applied to 5% of the total pesticide-treated area (17% of the total weight of pesticides used) with glyphosate being the most commonly used herbicide. Approval for the use of the herbicide simazine expired on 31/12/07 but the product has been recorded in use on soft fruit during this period.

Insecticide usage decreased by 44% compared with 2006, and 49% compared with 1998. Insecticide active ingredients accounted for 18% of the total pesticide-treated area and 10% of the total weight of pesticides applied in 2010. The contact and ingested organophosphorus insecticide chlorpyrifos was the most frequently applied, replacing pyrethroids as the most commonly used insecticide type.

Biopesticides (including macro-organisms) were applied to 6% of the treated area in 2010, compared with 5% in 2006 and 1% in 1998. Applications were principally to control grey mould (Botrytis spp.), with Bacillus subtilis being the most commonly used biopesticide.

The three most frequently used active ingredients were the fungicides myclobutanil, iprodione and pyremethanil. The area treated with myclobutanil in 2010 was 52% less than in 2006, with approximately 14 hectares treated in 2010 compared with 29 hectares in 2006.

For further information on this work please contact: Pesticide Usage Monitoring Group