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

Tamm, Lucius; Thürig, 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; Herforth-Rahmé, Joelle and Oberhänsli, Thomas (2023) Use of Copper-Based Fungicides in Organic Agriculture in Twelve European Countries. In: The International Society for Plant Pathology, The French Phytopathological Society (Eds.) 12th International Congress of Plant Pathology. Book of Abstract ICPP, pp. 964-965.

[thumbnail of Abstract] PDF - English (Abstract)

Document available online at: https://www.icpp2023.org/programme/abstracts-book


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. The aim of this survey was to provide 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. Since there is a lack of centralized databases on pesticide use, we combined expert knowledge on permitted and real copper use per crop and country, with statistics on organic area in 12 European countries covering 83% of the organically managed horticultural area. We calculated that approximately 3258 t copper metal per year is used by organic agriculture in these countries, equalling to 53% of the permitted annual dosage. This amount is split between olives (1263 t y−1, 39%), grapevine (990t 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:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Keywords:grapevines, crops, copper, policymaker, plant diseases, Abacus, FiBL25054, RELACS
Agrovoc keywords:
plant diseases
agrarian policies -> land policies
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Fruit and berries
Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Fruit and berries > Viticulture
Research affiliation: European Union > Horizon 2020 > RELACS
Belgium > Flanders > Bioforum Vlaanderen
Bulgaria > Bioselena
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Crop protection
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Society > Agri-food policy > Policy development
Switzerland > University of Basel
Germany > Naturland
Denmark > Innovationscenter for Økologisk Landbrug (ICOEL)
Spain > Other organizations Spain
Estonia > Estonian Organic Farming Foundation
France > ITAB - Institut Technique en Agriculture Biologique
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Special crops > Fruit
Hungary > Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture
Italy > Other organizations Italy
Norway > NIBIO – Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research
UK > Soil Association
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:51931
Deposited On:07 Nov 2023 12:42
Last Modified:27 Nov 2023 08:32
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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