What is in this article?:
- California farmers shifting to reduced risk pesticides
- Highlights from report
- Farmers are reducing their use of older, more stringently regulated pesticides in exchange for newer, environmentally-friendly methods to control pests.
- Application of older, broad-based pesticides has declined 66 percent over the past 12 years.
Highlights from report
-- There has been a significant reduction in the use of older, more highly regulated organophosphate and carbamate pesticides in California. Their use has declined 66 percent in the past 12 years.
-- The amount of these older, more highly regulated pesticides is far, far lower when compared with other pesticide classes including many newer, safer and more environmentally-friendly pesticides and those approved for use on organic crops. Currently, these older compounds comprise just 2 percent of the total pesticides used in California.
-- The reduction in use of older compounds indicates that California farmers are, in fact, successfully transitioning away from use of broad-based pesticides. This is likely the result of increased development and adoption of Integrated Pest Management strategies and a move toward softer, more environmentally-friendly compounds.
-- There is still a need for farmers to maintain the ability to use some of these older compounds for many reasons including the resistance of pests to more frequently used materials; the influx of exotic pests; and the lack of suitable alternatives in some instances. In addition, these materials may play a key role when used as a last resort to gain control of a pest outbreak that has overwhelmed an Integrated Pest Management system, allowing growers to re-establish IPM strategies.
-- It is important to note that these older compounds are also the most highly regulated. In California, which has the strictest pesticide regulations in the world, farmers using these products are subject to as many as 70 different laws and regulations each time an application is made.
-- Findings from the analysis conducted in California are similar to those reported by the U.S. Environmental Pesticide Agency concerning pesticide sales and usage throughout the nation.