5 years ago

The impact of restrictions on neonicotinoid and fipronil insecticides on pest management in maize, oilseed rape and sunflower in eight EU regions

Emilio Rodríguez-Cerezo, Jonas Kathage, Manuel Gómez-Barbero, José Luis Alonso-Prados, Pedro Castañera
BACKGROUND In 2013, the European Commission restricted the use of three neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam) and the pyrazole fipronil, widely used to control early season pests. Here, we use original farm survey data to examine the impact of the restrictions on pest management practices in eight regional case studies including maize, oilseed rape and sunflower in seven EU countries. RESULTS In four case studies, farmers switched to using untreated seeds as no alternative seed treatments were available. In three case studies, farmers switched to using unrestricted neonicotinoid- or pyrethroid-treated seeds. In five case studies, farmers increased the use of soil or foliar treatments, with pyrethroids as the principal insecticide class. Other changes in pest management practices ranged from increased sowing density to more frequent scouting for pests. Many farmers perceived that the time, cost and amount of insecticides required for protecting crops increased, along with pest pressure. Alternative seed treatments were mostly perceived as being less effective than the restricted seed treatments. CONCLUSION Farmers generally relied on alternative seed treatments or more soil/foliar treatments in the first growing season after the restrictions. Further study is required to assess the effectiveness and sustainability of these alternatives compared to the restricted insecticides.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/ps.4715

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