Archive Article: 2001/06/29

29 June 2001

Blanket treatments harm farming image

Few responsible or cash-strapped growers wish to apply pesticides unnecessarily. Particularly products which are unpleasant to handle or less than environmentally friendly.

But in cases where integrated crop management is still not totally guaranteed to protect crops, an element of insurance use is understandable. Blossom midge is a case in point. No grower with top quality wheat can allow the pest to ruin it just before harvest. There are treatment thresholds, but blanket treatments are tempting as the extent of spraying this year suggests.

The danger is that without more than lip service to ICM and pesticide stewardship, the publics perception of arable farmers as the countrysides prime polluters will become hard to remedy.

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