According to new figures, the use of pesticides on arable crops grown in Scotland has declined. A new report was released on Wednesday as part of a series of surveys which are produced to estimate pesticide usage in Scotland. It shows that pesticide applications to arable crops in 2018 were 4 percent lower than in the previous survey in 2016.
The estimated area of arable crops grown in Scotland in 2018 was ca. 489,309 hectares. Potatoes, legumes, winter oats and winter rye together accounted for the remaining 9%. The treated area received on average 3.9 pesticide sprays with a total combined application weight of ca.1,312 tonnes, the report says.
A reduction in the use of rodenticides used to control rodents on arable farms was also recorded. The figures go on to show that pesticide use on soft fruit crops was higher in 2018 than reported in 2016.
However, the low pesticide application rates reported in 2016 were atypical in this data series and pesticide application in 2018 was lower than levels reported in 2014 and 2012.
93% of soft fruit crops in Scotland were treated with pesticides. The treated area received on average 11.2 pesticide sprays with a total combined weight of ca. 17 tonnes. For this, pesticide application was 10 percent higher in 2018 than reported in 2016.
The use of biopesticides and biological control agents has increased since the previous survey for managing insect pests and disease in soft fruit crops as part of an integrated pest management system.