Scotland's Chief Statistician published three reports on Tuesday in relation to pesticide usage in Scotland in 2016 on arable crops and potato stores, soft fruit crops and the use of rodenticides on arable farms.

Ninety-eight per cent of arable crops in Scotland were treated with pesticides in 2016 with a total combined application weight of 1,490 tonnes. Fungicides were the most frequently used pesticides on arable crops, followed by herbicides and insecticides. Overall pesticide application was very similar to that reported in the previous survey in 2014.

For the first time information was collated about grower adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) measures in relation to risk management, pest monitoring and pest control. In relation to pesticide use on stored potatoes, 47 per cent of seed potatoes and 11 per cent of ware potatoes were treated with a pesticide in 2016. Again, these proportions are the same as reported in 2014.

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Ninety-four per cent of soft fruit crops in Scotland were treated with pesticides, with a total combined weight of 14.7 tonnes. Insecticides/acaricides and fungicides were the main pesticide types encountered. Overall pesticide application was 32 per cent lower in 2016 than reported in 2014. Growers were using a variety of IPM methods in relation to risk management, pest monitoring and pest control. Almost all of the growers, 96 per cent of the sample, used non-chemical control in partnership, or instead of, chemical control.

It was estimated that rodenticides were used on 78 per cent of arable farms in 2016. Approximately 91 tonnes of rodenticide bait, containing less than 5kg of active substance, was estimated to have been used. This was 19 per cent lower than in the previous survey in 2014. The rodenticides encountered were almost exclusively second-generation anticoagulant compounds.