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Sprays Used in Ecological Agriculture: Potential and Constraints for Use

Znaor, Darko (1994) Sprays Used in Ecological Agriculture: Potential and Constraints for Use. In: Hills, S (Ed.) Proceedings of the 10th IFOAM Scientific Conference , p. 232.

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Due to the benefits of diversity, autonomous ecosystem management and careful farmers' stewardship, pest and disease control doesn't pose a profound problem in ecological agriculture practice. However, during the conversion period, and in ecological horticulture, particularly in fruit growing, this preventive control is often not sufficient enough, and additional control, mostly (curative) spraying is needed. This need for additional pest and disease control (spraying) in ecological horticulture, may be linked with our incomplete understanding of the role of those subsystems in the agro-ecosystem as a whole.
Currently, organic standards normally do specify permitted (environmental friendly, mainly natural substances), prohibited (synthetic pesticides), and sprays whose use is restricted (like natural, broad spectrum pesticides). Unfortunately, the list of, and the elaboration on these sprays, differ even between those standards (or standards of the same organisation in different countries) which are perceived as mutually compatible. This incompatibility indicates that there is a lack of both practical and theoretical certainty in regard to this matter. This situation results in an expand of countless anonymous "recipes" of "eco-sprays" with questionable effectiveness. Therefore, this paper tries to cast some more light on the types, origin, formulation, mode of action, efficiency and environmental effects of some most common eco-sprays. Additionally, constraints for their practical use and further improvement, which are not primarily of technological, but rather of economic, juridical (regulative) and ethical nature are discussed. Once these, non technological constraints were lifted, due to their great pesticide potential, as demonstrated in numerous relevant studies, "eco-sprays" could become much more reliable than now. Such accurate "eco-sprays" would than serve as a tool which offers more assurance to ecological fruit growers and eco-farmers, particularly during conversion period. Therefore, in order to facilitate the elimination of current barriers for more productive use of "eco-sprays", it is deemed essential to establish an international network (IFOAM task force) which should stimulate a dialogue on these issues between farmers, scientists, industry and policy makers worldwide.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Sprays used in organic agriculture; Organic fruit growing; Organic pest and disease control; "Eco-sprays"
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Vegetables
Values, standards and certification
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Fruit and berries
Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Environmental aspects
Values, standards and certification > Regulation
Research affiliation: Netherlands > Wageningen University & Research (WUR)
Deposited By: Znaor, Dr Darko
ID Code:26421
Deposited On:01 Jul 2014 08:29
Last Modified:01 Jul 2014 08:29
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:Not sure about the editor(s) and page

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