Pesticide usage in Scotland

09 October 2018

Article: 52/4005

On 3 October 2018, Scotland’s Chief Statistician published three reports in relation to pesticide usage in Scotland. These were:

Taking into account changes in crop area, the 2017 total pesticide treated area for outdoor vegetable crops was almost a fifth lower (18%) than that reported in 2015 and 6% lower than 2013. The weight of pesticides applied to vegetable crops in 2017 was 16% lower than in 2015, but very similar to that encountered in 2013. The application of fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and seed treatments in 2017 decreased from the 2015 survey (21, 20, 19 and 18% decreases in treated area respectively). Only the use of molluscicides increased (37% increase in treated area).

Pesticide applications to Scottish fodder crops in 2017 were almost a third lower than in the previous survey in 2013. 63% of fodder crops were treated with a pesticide in 2017, which received on average 1.4 pesticide sprays with a total combined application weight of eight tonnes.

Overall pesticide application to grass crops in 2017 was very similar to that reported in the previous survey in 2013. The proportion of grass crops treated with a pesticide was very low; pesticides (almost exclusively herbicides) were applied to 4% of grassland and less than 0.5% of rough grazing.

It was estimated that rodenticides were used on 35% of grass and fodder farms in 2017, a decrease from the 43% using rodenticides in 2013. More than 99% of rodenticides used were second generation anticoagulants.

An estimated 130 tonnes of rodenticide products were used on grassland and fodder farms. This is a decrease of 40% since the previous survey in 2013. These products contained less than 7kg of rodenticide active substance.

Source: Scottish Government, 3 October 2018