In order to ensure good yields and quality, farmers apply plant protection products to their crops to control diseases, pests and weeds. But even if used correctly, these products can have undesired side effects on the environment. For example, they may harm non-target organisms such as beneficials, contaminate waterbodies or have undesired impacts in the soil. The contamination of surface waters has been a particularly hot topic recently and has led to harsh criticism of the use of plant protection products.
The project goals are:
- To reduce the input of plant protection products into the environment, especially into surface waters and sewage treatment plants
- To cut back on herbicide, insecticide and fungicide use
- To retain the production potential of the farm
- To make farmers aware of the negative environmental impacts of plant protection products
We are directing and coordinating the scientific support aspect of the project and we are carrying out the component projects “non-use of insecticides in rape”, “non-use of fungicides in cereals”, “non-use of herbicides” ourselves. We are also winding up the component project “acceptance of the measures by the farmers”.