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Use of crop protection agents

Up until 2012, the usage (kg/year) of crop protection agents in Flanders was estimated on the basis of sales figures from the Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment (FOD VVL). These figures relate to the amount of active substance and not to the commercial formulations which still contain all kinds of additives (solvents, extenders, fillers, etc.). This method was applied to the period 1990-2010.

 

Since 2013, the usage of crop protection agents has been estimated on the basis of the Agricultural Monitoring Network (LMN) of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Monitoring and Study Division (AMS). The LMN collects commercial, techno-economic and environmental data for 750 or so Flemish agricultural and horticultural businesses. These data are extrapolated based on the agriculture census (Directorate General Statistics and Economic Information, ADSEI), allowing a picture to be built up for the whole of Flanders. The data for non-agricultural applications for private and public entities are determined on the basis of sales figures and data obtained via Phytofar and VMM respectively. The new method was applied to the data relating to the usage years from 2009 onwards.

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D P S I R

Figures

Sales of crop protection agents (Flanders, 1990-2010)

Source: UGent, FOD VVVL
Data in Excel.


Progress

Gradual decrease

 

In the period 1990-2010, the sales of crop protection agents in Flanders have almost halved. The introduction of integrated and biological crop protection, limitation of use through stricter residue controls, an improved range of crop protection agents, new technological developments (spray installations), better dosages, more efficient formulations and the promotion of zero usage by public administrations are the basis for this decrease. Weather conditions may also play a role and cause short-term fluctuations.

The sales of crop protection agents for non-agricultural purposes fell significantly in the period 2005-2010, but was difficult to estimate using the original method. Sales of crop protection agents have decreased gradually, both in horticulture and in arable farming.

The new method for determining the use of crop protection agents on the basis of LMN was applied to the period 2009-2011. This period is too short to allow a clear trend to emerge. In 2011, the agricultural sector accounted for 95 % of the usage. The usage of crop protection agents in arable farming (1.4 million kg) slightly exceeded that in horticulture (1.3 million kg). Non-agriculture and sowing seed accounted for 3 % and 2 % respectively. In 2011, fungicides and herbicides were most commonly used, representing 40 % and 34 %, respectively, of the total usage.

The toxicity of crop protection agents and the time needed for them to degrade differs a great deal from substance to substance. That is why an indicator was created that takes into account these properties (see indicator Pressure on aquatic life from crop protection agents).

DPSI-R (de verstoringsketen)

De verstoringsketen is een veelgebruikt analysekader in de internationale milieurapportering. De keten schematiseert de oorzaken tot en met de gevolgen van de milieuproblemen.

Schakel 1 Driving forces (Maatschappelijke activiteiten) de onderliggende oorzaken van de milieuproblemen (productie, consumptie, transport, recreatie, enz.)
Schakel 2 Pressure (Druk) de directe oorzaken van de verstoringen brongebruik (energie, water, ruimte, grondstoffen) emissies (lozingen naar lucht, water en bodem, afval)
Schakel 3 State (Toestand) de resulterende toestand in lucht, water en bodem
Schakel 4 Impact (Impact) een inschatting van de negatieve gevolgen van de milieukwaliteit voor mens, natuur en economie
Schakel 5 Response (Respons) het (beleids)antwoord op deze verstoringen

Indicators



DPSIR-chain

The DPSI-R chain is a frequently used analysis framework in international environmental reporting. The DPSI-R chain outlines the causes to the impacts of environmental problems.

Link 1 Driving forces the underlying causes of environmental problems (production, consumption, transportation, recreation, etc.)
Link 2 Pressure the direct causes of the disturbances from resource use (energy, water, space, materials) and emissions (discharges to air, water and soil, waste)
Link 3 State the resulting state in air, water and soil
Link 4 Impact an estimate of the negative effects of the environmental quality for man, nature and economy
Link 5 Response the (policy) response to these disturbances

Indicatoren

positieve evolutie Positieve evolutie, met de doelstelling binnen bereik, of gunstige toestand.
onduidelijke evolutie Geen of beperkte evolutie, maar onvoldoende om de doelstelling te bereiken, of neutrale toestand.
negatieve evolutie Negatieve evolutie, verder weg van de doelstelling, of ongunstige toestand.
onvoldoende informatie beschikbaar Onvoldoende informatie.
De toekenning van smileys is geen exacte wetenschap maar veeleer een expertoordeel. Het 'oormerken' van indicatoren houdt onmiskenbaar het gevaar in van te sterke vereenvoudiging. Daarom wil de smiley de lezer vooral aanzetten om de bijhorende indicatorbeschrijving te lezen.

Indicatoren

positieve evolutie Positieve evolutie, met de doelstelling binnen bereik, of gunstige toestand.
onduidelijke evolutie Geen of beperkte evolutie, maar onvoldoende om de doelstelling te bereiken, of neutrale toestand.
negatieve evolutie Negatieve evolutie, verder weg van de doelstelling, of ongunstige toestand.
onvoldoende informatie beschikbaar Onvoldoende informatie.
De toekenning van smileys is geen exacte wetenschap maar veeleer een expertoordeel. Het 'oormerken' van indicatoren houdt onmiskenbaar het gevaar in van te sterke vereenvoudiging. Daarom wil de smiley de lezer vooral aanzetten om de bijhorende indicatorbeschrijving te lezen.

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