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Use of Copper-Based Fungicides in Organic Agriculture in Twelve European Countries

Tamm, Lucius; Thuerig, Barbara; Apostolov, Stoilko; Blogg, Hugh; Borgo, Esmeralda; Corneo, Paola Elisa; Fittje, Susanne; de Palma, Michelangelo; Donko, Adam; Experton, Catherine; Alcazar Marin, Evelyne; Morell Perez, Angela; Pertot, Ilaria; Rasmussen, Anton; Steinshamn, Håvard; Vetemaa, Airi; Willer, Helga and Herforth-Rahmé, Joelle (2022) Use of Copper-Based Fungicides in Organic Agriculture in Twelve European Countries. Agronomy, 12 (3), p. 673.

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Summary

The reduction of copper-based plant-protection products with the final aim of phasing out has a high priority in European policy, as well as in organic agriculture. Our survey aims at providing an overview of the current use of these products in European organic agriculture and the need for alternatives to allow policymakers to develop strategies for a complete phasing out. Due to a lack of centralized databases on pesticide use, our survey combines expert knowledge on permitted and real copper use per crop and country, with statistics on organic area. In the 12 surveyed countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK), we calculated that approximately 3258 t copper metal per year is consumed by organic agriculture, equaling to 52% of the permitted annual dosage. This amount is split between olives (1263 t y−1, 39%), grapevine (990 t y−1, 30%), and almonds (317 t y−1, 10%), followed by other crops with much smaller annual uses (<80 t y−1). In 56% of the allowed cases (countries × crops), farmers use less than half of the allowed amount, and in 27%, they use less than a quarter. At the time being, completely abandoning copper fungicides would lead to high yield losses in many crops. To successfully reduce or avoid copper use, all preventive strategies have to be fully implemented, breeding programs need to be intensified, and several affordable alternative products need to be brought to the market.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:copper-based plant-protection products, fungicides, grapevine, nuts, olives, organic agriculture, potatoes, survey, RELACS, Abacus, FiBL25054
Agrovoc keywords:
Language
Value
URI
English
copper fungicides
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_dd22ee96
English
surveys
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_7537
English
organic agriculture
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_15911
English
grapevines
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_3360
English
olives
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_12926
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Fruit and berries
Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Fruit and berries > Viticulture
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Fruit and berries > Olive
Values, standards and certification > Regulation
Research affiliation: European Union > Horizon 2020 > RELACS
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Crop protection > Crop protection products
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Special crops > Fruit
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Special crops > Winegrowing
H2020 or FP7 Grant Agreement Number:773431
Deposited By: Thürig, Dr. Barbara
ID Code:43952
Deposited On:05 Apr 2022 09:57
Last Modified:05 Apr 2022 09:57
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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