Organic Sugarbeets from Austria: Fungicide Use and Lots of Handweeding

Organic Sugar

Organic Sugar

There is a retail market for organic sugar in the EU and until recently the demand was met with imports of organic sugar from Latin America. British Sugar began producing organic sugar in the UK in 2002 but abandoned the organic line because it was not commercially viable. Now, a small number of sugarbeet growers in Austria are growing organic sugarbeets. Without herbicides for weed control, these growers need an enormous amount of hand labor. For disease control, the organic growers spray copper fungicides.

“In the past organic sugar from sugar cane was imported to Europe. In 2008 AGRANA started to contract organic sugar beet… In 2008 organic sugar beet was grown by 105 farmers on 323 ha. Up to 2011 the organic beet area was increased to 913 ha and reached about 2% of the Austrian sugar beet acreage.

Weed control is a major issue in production of organic beet. Farmers are using harrows and inter row cultivators for mechanical weed control. In addition, an enormous input of hand labour is required, on average there is the need for 200 hours per hectare.

Control of Cercospora leaf spot and powdery mildew is carried out by spraying fungicides containing copper or sulfur. Normally two or three sprayings with copper products are required to control Cercospora. It is allowed to apply up to 2 kg Copper per hectare and year.”

Authors: Kempl, F., et al.
Affiliation: AGRANA Zucker GmbH.
Title: Organically grown beets? A growing segment in the Austrian sugar production.
Source: 73ed IIRB Congress. 2012. Proceedings of Papers:183-186.

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Chilean Apple Growers Must Use Insecticides to Control Quarantine Pests

Codling Moth Frass

Codling Moth Frass

Chile is a major exporter of apples to other Latin American and Asian countries. Some of these countries do not have populations of the codling moth and they want to keep the insect out. Codling moth is present in Chilean apple orchards which means that growers must spray insecticides to assure that their export fruit shipments will not be rejected.

“Regular applications of insecticides have been the main management practice against codling moth in Chile. … Pest management in Chilean apple orchards with fruit grown for export is dependent on intensive pesticide use, mainly because of strong quarantine restrictions toward the codling moth from Asian and Latin America countries. In this production scenario, even low levels of fruit damage at harvest (<0.5%) are a major concern for growers. To avoid quarantine rejection of exports, an increase in the frequency of insecticide sprays has been observed.”

Authors: E. Fuentes-Contreras1, M. Reyes2, W. Barros1 and B. Sauphanor2

Affiliation:
1Department de Producción Agrícola, Universidad de Talca, Talca, Chile; 2PSH-Ecologie de la Production Intégrée, INRA Site Agroparc, Avignon Cedex, France
Title: Evaluation of azinphos-methyl resistance and activity of detoxifying enzymes in codling moth (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) from central Chile.
Publication: Journal of Economic Entomology. 2007. 100(2):551-556.