Scottish Government
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Pesticide usage in Scotland reports

Scotland’s Chief Statistician recently published three reports in relation to Pesticide Usage in Scotland.  These included: Protected Edible Crops 2011, Outdoor Vegetable Crops 2011 and Rodenticides on Arable Farms 2000-2010.

The Protected Edible and Outdoor Vegetable reports are part of a series of surveys which are produced to detail pesticide usage in Scotland.  The protected edible report includes soft fruit and vegetable crops covered permanently by glass or polytunnel.  The Outdoor Vegetable report includes vegetable crops grown in the open for human consumption.

The Rodenticides on Arable Farms 2000-2010 report summarises the results of six biennial surveys of rodenticide use on arable holdings in Scotland between 2000 and 2010.  Rodenticides are used to control rodents, primarily rats.

The main findings are:

Protected Edible Crops 2011

  • The estimated area of protected edible crops grown in Scotland in 2011 was 143 hectares representing an increase of 114 per cent since the previous survey in 2007. The total cumulative area of edible crops treated with a pesticide formulation increased by 75 per cent to 3,258 hectares since 2007.  However this is less than the increase in the area of crop grown
  • Approximately 84 per cent of the total pesticide treated area was cropped with strawberries, 10 per cent with raspberries, 5 per cent with vegetables, 2 per cent with other fruit and less than 0.5% with tomatoes
  • Fungicides accounted for 53 per cent of the total pesticide treated area, insecticides 24 per cent, biological control agents 16 per cent and herbicides 7 per cent.  This pattern in pesticide use reflects the prevalence and economic importance of pests in protected edible crops in Scotland

Outdoor Vegetable Crops 2011

  • The total area of outdoor vegetable crops grown in 2011 was 15,318 hectares, representing a 30% increase from the previous survey in 2007
  • The total cumulative area of vegetable crops treated with a pesticide formulation has increased by 26 per cent to 138,504 hectares since the previous survey
  • Fungicides accounted for 34 per cent of the total pesticide-treated area, herbicides 27 per cent, insecticides 24 per cent, molluscicides 6 per cent, seed treatments 9 per cent and biological agents less than 0.5 per cent

Rodenticides on Arable Farms 2000-2011

  • Throughout the surveyed period, rodenticides were used on more than three quarters of arable holdings.  Anticoagulant compounds were the most frequently used, accounting for over 99 per cent of all rodenticide occurrences
  • The most commonly used active ingredients were bromadiolone and difenacoum which cumulatively accounted for more than 75 per cent of all rodenticide occurrences

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