SALES OF crop protection products during 2004 were up on previous years due to increased wheat area and higher disease and pest pressure, according to Crop Protection Association data.
Total sales to agriculture and horticulture in 2004 were £399,497, up 11% on 2003, while the amount of active ingredient used increased by a similar amount to 25,453kg, the figures showed.
The need to control potato blight and septoria meant there was particular demand for fungicides in 2004, sales of which increased by 18%. Sales of insecticides also increased by 17% on the previous year, the CPA said.
But it is important to focus on the way crop protection products are used, rather than the amount, said the CPA’s director of policy, Anne Buckenham.
“UK farmers are well aware of the need to use pesticides prudently. Thousands have joined the Voluntary Initiative and are adopting best practice to minimise the environmental impacts of pesticides.
“This will be further enhanced through CAP reforms which pay farmers to focus on the environment.”