French Government Policies to Reduce Pesticide Use Will Lower Food Production

Sprays!

Pesticide Spraying: French Vineyard

French farmers spend several billion Euros on pesticides each year. A large number of pesticide treatments are made to crops in France: wheat (4), sugarbeets (4), rapeseed (6), potatoes (17), apples (36) and vineyards (7-22). The French government has announced a policy to reduce the use of pesticides by 50%. The French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) estimated the impacts on crop production as a result of the pesticide use reductions.

“The results demonstrated that the commitment of the Environment Round Table to a 50% reduction of pesticide use from current levels is a difficult target to achieve. During an average year similar to 2006, this could correspond to the results of a simulation under which all French farming would switch to integrated production: the reduction in pesticide use would then be estimated at 50% in arable crops, 37% in viticulture, 21% in fruit orchards and 100% in grasslands; drops in yield (in value terms) would then be observed, estimated at 12% for arable crops, 24% for viticulture and 19% for fruits (based on 2006 prices).”

Author: INRA
Affiliation: INRA
Title: Ecophyto R&D – which options to reduce pesticide use?
Source: Ecophyto R&D. January 2010. Pgs. 1-8.

More Sugar from Michigan Thanks to Fungicides

Fungicides: Used (left); Not Used (right)

Fungicides: Used (left); Not Used (right) (Rhizoctonia Control)

Rhizoctonia root rot is a serious disease problem in several sugarbeet-growing regions, with the result sometimes being dramatic—and expensive—reductions in tonnage and quality. Low levels of infections can easily cause yield losses in excess of a ton per acre while high infection levels can cut yields by more than 10 tons per acre. The quality of surviving beets can also be impacted, sometimes resulting in significant losses in recoverable sugar.

“During 2009 and 2010, the Michigan Sugarbeet Advancement Initiative established a study to determine the efficacy and economic impact of various application strategies for the use of Quadris flowable fungicide to control Rhizoctonia root rot.

On average (four trials in each of two years), even with low to moderate levels of Rhizoctonia infection, the per-acre net return of Quadris over the check trials ranged from $94 to $209, depending on the rate, timing and method used. The best treatment in these trials improved recoverable sugar per ton by 14 pounds and percent sugar by 0.7%. Even the “worst” treatment increased RST by 8 pounds and sugar content by 0.3%.”

Authors: Poindexter, S., and Wenzel, T.
Affiliation: Michigan Sugarbeet Advancement, Michigan State University
Title: Rhizoctonia control with quadris—update on Michigan research.
Source: The Sugarbeet Grower. April/May 2011. Pgs. 16-17.