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