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Pesticide Usage in Scotland Pesticide Usage in Scotland

5th October 2016

Scotland's Chief Statistician today published three reports in relation to Pesticide Usage in Scotland. These were: pesticide use on outdoor vegetable crops in 2015, pesticide use in protected edible crops in 2015 and rodenticide use by local authorities in 2015.

Ninety eight per cent of vegetable crops in Scotland were treated with a pesticide in 2015 with a total combined application weight of 67 tonnes. Fungicides were the most frequently used pesticides on outdoor vegetable crops, followed by herbicides and insecticides. Overall pesticide application was higher in 2015 than that reported in the previous survey in 2013. This may be explained by the fact that weed and disease pressure, and therefore pesticide use, was lower than average in 2013. For the first time information was collected about grower adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) measures in relation to risk management, pest monitoring and pest control. A wide range of IPM activities were encountered and the majority of vegetable growers, 76 per cent of the sample, used non-chemical control methods in partnership with, or instead of, chemical control.

The protected edible report includes pesticide use on all edible crops, except soft fruit, which are permanently protected by glass or polytunnel. Less than 40 per cent of the crop was treated with pesticides, with a total combined weight of just over two kilograms. Overall the estimated quantity of pesticides applied per hectare has declined over the last three surveys. Growers were using a variety of IPM methods in relation to risk management, pest monitoring and pest control. The majority of growers, 80 per cent of the sample, used non-chemical control in partnership with, or instead of, chemical control. This is a summary report which reflects the limited cultivation of edible protected crops in Scotland.

The rodenticide use by local authorities survey is the first of its kind in Scotland to report use of rat poison by local authorities in domestic, industrial and agricultural settings. The local authorities surveyed used almost 15 tonnes of rodenticide bait in 2015, predominantly in domestic settings. This bait contained less than one kg of rodenticide active substance. Almost all rodenticide use was of second generation anticoagulant compounds and the principal rodenticide encountered was bromadiolone.

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

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