Skip to main content

29/10/14 09:45

Pesticide Usage in Scotland

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today published four reports in relation to Pesticide Usage in Scotland. These were: Outdoor Vegetable Crops 2013, Grassland and Fodder Crops 2013, Protected Edible Crops 2013 (Summary Report) and Rodenticide Use on Grassland and Fodder Farms 2013.

Ninety two per cent of vegetable crops were treated with pesticides, with a total combined weight of 53,000 kg. Overall, the total area of pesticide formulations applied to outdoor vegetable crops, and the total weight used in 2013, were very similar to that reported in the previous survey in 2011.

Only four per cent of grassland was treated with pesticides, with a total combined weight of 85,300 kg. Taking into account changes in crop area there was a reduction of total pesticide area sprayed, and weight applied, of around a third since the last survey in 2009. These decreases may be a result of the cool wet weather at the start of 2013, which resulted in slower weed growth and disease development than usual and made conditions for the application of pesticides difficult. In relation to fodder crops, 74 per cent of the crop area was treated with pesticides, with a total combined weight of 15,000 kg. When changes in crop area are accounted for, there was a 14 per cent increase in total pesticide area applied to fodder crops and a six per cent decrease in weight applied. This was primarily due to differences in the herbicide compounds used.

The protected edible report includes all edible crops, except soft fruit, which are permanently protected by glass or polytunnel. Overall, 39 per cent of the crop was treated with pesticides, with a total combined weight of 170 kg. The total area of pesticide formulations applied in 2013 was very similar to that reported in 2011. However, the weight of pesticides used decreased by more than 70 per cent. This was mainly due to a reduction in use of soil sterilants. This is a summary report which reflects the limited cultivation of edible protected crops in Scotland.

It was estimated that rodenticides were used on 72 per cent of grassland and fodder farms with approximately 217 tonnes of bait used. However, as anticoagulant rodenticides are effective at very low concentrations this bait contained less than 11 kg of rodenticide active ingredient. This is the first time that rodenticide use has been surveyed on both fodder and grassland farms.

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes to editors

The full statistical publications are available at:
Pesticide Usage in Scotland: Grassland and Fodder Crops 2013 www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/bulletins/01119
Pesticide Usage in Scotland: Outdoor Vegetable Crops 2013 www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/bulletins/01120
Pesticide Usage in Scotland: Protected Edible Crops 2013 www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/bulletins/01121
Pesticide Usage in Scotland: Rodenticides on Grassland and Fodder Farms 2013 www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/bulletins/01122

These reports are part of a series of surveys which are produced to estimate pesticide usage in Scotland. Each crop report details pesticide usage in terms of weight, area and percentage of crop treated with pesticides. The Rodenticide report estimates rodenticide use on Scottish grassland and fodder farms. Rodenticides are used to control rodents, primarily rats. Commentary is also provided on recent changes in survey data and longer term trends.

These statistics are used for a variety of purposes including informing Scottish Government Policy about the post-approval use of pesticides.

Further information on Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural statistics within Scotland can be accessed at:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Agriculture-Fisheries

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About

Downloads

National Statistics Logo

National Statistics Logo

View | Download