Control of Cherry Maggots Has Become Very Difficult in the E.U.

Churry Maggots

Cherry Maggots

Adult cherry maggot flies deposit eggs under the skin of the fruit and the hatched maggots feed inside the berry. There is zero tolerance for maggot-infested cherries in the marketplace and insecticides have been used for over 100 years. However, in the E.U. with increased restrictions on insecticides and lack of newly-registered products, control of cherry maggots has become problematic.

“The European cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis cerasi L. (Diptera: Tephritidae) is the major insect pest of sweet and tart cherries throughout Europe, infesting up to 90% of fruit in untreated sites. A great need has arisen for effective control techniques because of an almost zero tolerance of infested fruit in the fresh market, notwithstanding an agreed economic threshold of 2% infestation. Cherry fruit fly control in the European Union (EU) has recently become very difficult as a result of programmes to reduce the use of broad-spectrum insecticides, for reasons of environmental and human safety. Such withdrawals of insecticides have occurred in the absence of identified alternatives for R. cerasi. In Germany, its management is currently achieved by the application of systemic insecticides (e.g. acetamiprid, dimethoate), authorized by special permits and, for dimethoate, with many restrictions on use.”

Authors: Bockmann, E., et al.
Affiliation: Institute for Plant Protection in Fruit Crops and Viticulture, Germany.
Title: Bait spray for control of European cherry fruit fly: an appraisal based on semi-field and field studies.
Source: Pest Management Science. 2014. 70:502-509.

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High Taxes in the E.U. Will Not Reduce Pesticide Use: Pesticides are Essential

windmills

Dutch Farm

Pesticide use is very high in the E.U. and policies to reduce use have been adopted. Under consideration are taxes on pesticides. Some people believe that pesticides are not essential and that alternatives are available and, as a result, believe that taxes would cause farmers to reduce their use of pesticides. However, recent research in the Netherlands shows that, due to their essential importance, pesticide use is unlikely to go down even with very high taxes. The main effect of high taxes on pesticides would be to reduce farmer income.

“Pesticides are integral components of modern crop production systems. Recently, attention is focused on the use of economic incentives to reduce pesticide use and its related indirect effects. The European Union’s (EU) pesticide policy envisages the use of pesticide tax and levy schemes.

The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of different fiscal measures in reducing pesticide use and environmental spillovers by using detailed farm-level data from Dutch arable crop production.

Increasing the tax rate (for both high- and low-toxicity products) to 80% and 120%, total pesticide use is decreased by almost 3% and 4%, respectively. These scenarios show that even high taxes are not able to achieve significant reductions in pesticide use. Moreover, high taxes decrease farm revenues as the 4% pesticide decrease is accompanied by a 22% decrease in farm revenue. Producers’ rigidity in reducing pesticide use, thus avoiding the tax burden, may be attributed to the damage preventing role of pesticides and their capacity to reduce output variability.

The dilemma inherent in pesticide taxation is that the use of pesticides may be so essential for some crops or regions that tax rates would have to be very high to impact pesticide use. This could result in a major reduction in farm income as depicted through the pesticide tax scenarios presented in this work… Results show that even high (and politically challenging) tax rates would result in a small reduction in the use of pesticides due to the rigidity of Dutch farmers in reducing pesticide use.”

Authors: Skevas, T., et al.
Affiliation: Wageningen University
Title: Can economic incentives encourage actual reductions in pesticide use and environmental spillovers?
Source: Agricultural Economics. 2012. 43:267-276.

EU Subsidies Lead to Increased Pesticide Use in Poland

Crop Protection Product Sales

Pesticide Sales, Poland (million $)

In 2003 Poland voted to join the European Union (EU). However, Polish farmers were concerned that they would not be able to compete with other EU member countries. Polish agriculture benefitted from over €10billion from the EU and Polish budgets. As a result, farmers had more funds to buy pesticides and accession to the EU influenced an upward trend in pesticide use in Poland.

“Since EU accession an increase in plant protection products consumption has been observed in Poland. According to Eurostat, in 2003 (before accession) the average use of active substances in Poland amounted to 0.8 kg AS/ha. In 2011…the average use of active substances of plant protection products in Poland amounted to 1.4 kg AS/ha.

The reason for the increasing demand for PPPs was probably the impact Poland’s accession to the EU has had on the agricultural sector. The rise of export to the European single market and prices for many agricultural products along with subsidies have boosted farmers’ income and profitability in agricultural production. As a result, on the one hand, farmers had more funds to buy agrochemicals, while on the other hand, they had more possibilities to sell their crops (if of suitable quality) for an attractive price. These conditions led to an increased demand for PPPs. In this manner, accession to the EU influenced the increase of PPP sales in Poland, in spite of EU policy concerning the reduction of pesticide use.”

Author: Matyjaszczyk, E.
Affiliation: Plant Protection Institute, Poland.
Title: Plant protection in Poland on the eve of obligatory integrated pest management implementation.
Source: Pest Management Science. 2013. 69:991-995.

High Quality Spanish Greenhouse Vegetables Depend on Fungicides

Greenhouse Industry, Almeria

Greenhouse Industry, Almeria

Almeria is located in the region of Andalucia in southeastern Spain. It has an average temperature of 68° and about 3000 hours of annual sunshine. Vegetable production in greenhouses has increased dramatically in Almeria. At present, about half of the total production from this area is exported to the European Union, especially Germany, France and the Netherlands. Almeria has become very competitive because it is relying on selling via high quality and not on low prices. Spain will try to improve its export position by increasing its market share in other parts of the world. Not only are prices competitive from Spain, but also the quality of Spanish produce is excellent. Needless to say, moldy vegetables are not acceptable for export from Spain and the greenhouse crops are intensively sprayed with fungicides.

Botrytis cinerea, is the causal agent of grey mould, one of the most important diseases of crops in Almeria, a region in south-east Spain where unheated plastic greenhouses cover an area of approximately 33.560 ha. Botrytis cinerea attacks a wide range of plant species in temperate zones and causes grey mould on many economically important crops such as vegetables, ornamentals, bulbs and fruit. Chemical control is the primary method for grey mould control, with alternative fungicides applied every 10 days, from November to March.”

Authors: Moyano, C., V. Gomez, and P. Melgarejo.
Affiliations: Department of Plant Protection, INIA, Ctra. De la Coruna, Spain.
Title: Resistance to pyrimethanil and other fungicides in Botrytis cinerea populations collected on vegetable crops in Spain.
Source: Journal of Phytopathology. 2004. 152:484-490.