Sustainable Crop Protection

Sustainable crop protection

Pesticides are a vital tool for farmers and growers to enable the production of economic yields of marketable crops which meet the requirements of the supply chain. Legislative developments have resulted in a reduction in the number of pesticide products available for use by the industry. Further restrictions on the maximum residue level of pesticide permitted on foods are also limiting choices available for effective crop protection. Whilst these changes have focussed on consumer safety, the most recent legislative development is concerned with the conditions under which pesticides are used in the field.

This white paper looks at that problems that farmers and growers face, and the various ways they can modify their practices to comply with legislation and, more broadly, to meet the goal of reducing the use and environmental impact of pesticides and improving the sustainability of crop protection practices. Particular examples cover weed control, disease control (using potatoes as an example), the use of beneficial insects, and pesticide application techniques.


The Sustainable Use Directive (SUD) (2009/128/EC ‘Establishing a framework for community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides’) specifies a number of measures which must be adopted by the Member States to reduce the impact of pesticide use on human health and the environment. The main points can be summarised as follows:

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