Opium Poppies Need Pesticide Applications


Opium Poppies

The opium poppy is cultivated in different parts of the world such as Tasmania, India, Pakistan, Slovakia, France, Spain, Yugoslavia and Italy.  The fruits of the poppy are rounded capsules. The liquid (milky latex) obtained after lancing the capsules contains opiates which are dried to produce raw opium, used for processing medicinal drugs such as codeine and morphine. The commercial production of opium poppies is adversely affected by uncontrolled weeds, insects and disease organisms. Commercial growers rely on pesticide applications as described in a recent article about poppy growing in Slovakia.

“The cropping system of poppy has seen important changes in recent years. In the past, growing this crop required a great deal of manual labor connected with singling, hoeing and particularly capsule collecting. At present, all operations of the large scale cropping system, from sowing to harvest, are fully mechanized. Registered pesticides are used to control weeds, diseases and pests.

Pre-emergent herbicides Callisto 480 SC (mesotrione), or Lentipur 500 FW + Command 36 CS (chlortoluron + clomazone) are applied within 3 days after sowing. Due to slow initial growth, the post-emergent application of herbicide in growth phase of 4-6 true leaves is usually necessary.

Protection against poppy root weevil is realized through seed treatment with Cruiser OSR preparation. …A dangerous pest of poppy is poppy weevil, against which the protection is aimed at the time of “hook stage”. Among the registered insecticides, Mospilan 20 SP (acetamiprid) and Nurelle D (chlorpyrifos + cypermethrin) are used.

Poppy downy mildew and poppy fire are considered to be the most dangerous diseases of poppy, in conditions of the Slovak Republic. Occurrence of downy mildew during the leaf rosette period is suppressed by seed treatment. …In the phase of stem elongation, application of Acrobat MZ WG (dimethomorph +mancozeb) is possible. In the “hook stage”, Discus (kresoxym-methyl) or Bumper Super (prochloraz + propiconazole) are used to suppress poppy fire on both leaves and capsules.”

Names: Fejer, J., and I. Salamon.
Affiliation: Presov University in Presov.
Title: Agro-Technology of the Poppy: Large-Scale Cultivation in Slovakia.
Source: Acta Hort. 2014. 1036:181-186.

French Apple Production Requires Dozens of Pesticide Sprays every Year

Codling Moth

Codling Moth

Apple Scab

Apple Scab

French apple production totals about 1.9 million tons worth approximately $750 million annually. French apple orchards are plagued with the same major pests that infest orchards worldwide: the fungal disease, apple scab, and the insect, codling moth. Both pests would seriously damage most of the apple crop in France without the dozens of pesticide sprays that are made.

“In Southern France, over 35 pesticide treatments are applied yearly in apple orchards, among which 8-15 are targeted against the codling moth.”

“Codling moth is a major pest of pome fruit orchards throughout their area of cultivation…. Two or three larval generations are present in southern France and insecticide applications are needed from the beginning of the first larval generation in May until fruit harvest.”

”Chemical control of apple scab represents a considerable part of the pest control measures necessary to protect an apple orchard when it is planted with one or several cultivars susceptible to the disease. In France, as many as 15-20 fungicide treatments per year may be necessary to control the disease.”

Authors: Monteiro, L. B., Lavigne, C., Ricci, B., Franck; P., Toubon, J-F
Affiliation: UFPR, Parana Federal University; INRA Plantes et Systemes de Culture Horticoles
Title: Predation of codling moth eggs is affected by pest management practices at orchard and landscape levels.
Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 2013. 166:86-93.

Authors: Simon, S., et al.
Affiliation: Unite Experimentale Gotheron, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique.
Title: Effect of codling moth management on orchard arthropods.
Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 2007. 122:340-348.

Authors: Brun, L., et al.
Affiliation: INRA, UMR Pathologie Vegetale.
Title: Effects of apple cultivar susceptibility to Venturia inaequalis on scab epidemics in apple orchards.
Source: Crop Protection. 2008. 27:1009-1019.

Lack of Insecticides for Radishes Would Cause Significant Economic Loss in France

France is the second largest European producer, behind Germany, of radishes. Each year, France produces 48,000 tons of radishes. Damage to radishes from root maggots must be prevented in order to produce a marketable crop. But since 2007 no insecticide has been registered in France for use against root maggots. Emergency uses of unregistered insecticides have preserved the industry. A recent analysis calculated the economic costs of not having effective insecticides available.

“The additional costs caused to replace a chemical treatment by a manual operation (manual sorting at harvest) is calculated at 6,905 €/ha. At the sector level, the lack of availability of a registered plant protection product against vegetable flies would thus lead to a direct loss of 18,600,000 €. This loss in profitability seriously impacts the viability of the radish production sector in France and puts at the stake the employment directly and indirectly involved in this sector. To give an indication, in Loire-Atlantique this sector has significant weight representing 2,500 FTEs (Full Time Equivalent). … The risk of distortion of competition in the French radish production sector is real vis-à-vis other European countries where pressure of the vegetable flies is less.”

Publication: Economic damage caused by the lack of plant protection products against root maggots in radish production in France. In: Study on the Establishment of a European Fund for Minor Uses in the Field of Plant Protection Products. June 2011.
Project Leader: ARCADIA International

Sacrebleu! French Artichoke Production Threatened!

A lot can be learned about the benefits of pesticides when key pesticides are no longer available for use. In 2007, the only herbicide effective on broadleaf weeds in artichoke fields was canceled in France. A recent report describes the consequences…

“To illustrate the economic damage caused by the lack of plant protection products for weed control in artichoke production in France, we took the specific case study of a farm in the Brittany region. The direct cost and indirect impact of the implementation of an alternative weed control solution, i.e. mechanical weed control accompanied by a manual hoeing, is summarized.”

“At farm level, the lack of registered plant protection products for weed control of artichoke caused a decrease in the net margin of 1,020 €/ha for a culture of artichoke for 3 years. As in France artichokes are grown on 9,000 ha, at the scale of the total artichoke production sector, the direct loss of profit amounts to slightly less than 10,000,000 €. In the long term, farms may not be economically viable because the net margin is too low (1,979 €/ha for 3 years, or 660 €/ha for one year) to allow profitable production from one year to another. Therefore, some farms may disappear due to the lack of profitability. This will affect employment in production, but also in all the downstream activities (packaging, marketing, shipping…).”

“For example, in northern Brittany, 900 growers produce artichoke as principal crop. Most of these producers employ the equivalent of 2.7 FTE (Full Time Equivalent). The absence of chemical herbicides allowed on artichoke therefore threatens the equivalent of 2,430 FTE in this region, without counting jobs indirectly linked to production. Moreover, a majority of producers performs crop rotation associating artichokes to cauliflowers. The difficulty of growing artichoke crops will affect the production of cauliflower. The entire economy of this vegetable producing area could be compromised.”

Publication: Study on the Establishment of a European Fund for Minor Uses in the Field of Plant Protection Products. June 2011.
Project Leader: ARCADIA International