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2L Research, Nufarm UK, Welsh assembly Government, Barclay Chemicals, and The Voluntary Initiative

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Crop Protection

It is a sad fact that up to a third of all the food produced globally is wasted through spoilage in one way or another.

 

Whether it be from pests and diseases on the farm, during storage, transportation or in the home.

 

Pesticides can play an important role in mitigating some of these losses.

The term ‘pesticide’ actually covers a range of compounds: herbicides used to treat weeds, fungicides for treating disease, insecticides for controlling insects and a range of other compounds for other pests.

The public perception of these materials is often that they are highly toxic and indiscriminate in their action. Whereas this may have been true of some of the very early compounds used in the sixties and seventies this is invariably not the case with modern materials.


Whilst they can undoubtedly have an impact on the environment, used at approved rates improves both the yield and quality of crops with minimum effect on non-target species. Before approval all compounds undergo a rigorous assessment of scientific data to ensure public safety and minimal environmental impact.


Assessing the right place, time and dose of any proposed pesticide treatment is key to any integrated crop management programme. Pesticides should always be the last line of defense against pests and not the first.

Most pesticides are remarkably specific to a narrow range of target pests and although potentially hazardous when used carefully represent very little harm to ‘natural’ organisms.

Optima Excel can help growers, food processors and consumers gain a better understanding of how, when and where pesticides may be used in such a way that they are both effective but cause minimum impact on the environment.