Special Issue "Pesticides in Agriculture System"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 December 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Christos A. Damalas

Department of Agricultural Development, Democritus University of Thrace, Orestiada, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Production Agriculture, Crop Physiology, Weed Biology, Pesticide Use and Safety Issues, Risk Assessment, Farmers' Behavior

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pesticides are used worldwide to manage agricultural pests with the significant benefits of increased food production, increased profits for farmers, and the prevention of human diseases. They are considered a major tool of conventional agriculture because pests consume or harm a large portion of agricultural crops and, without the use of pesticides, it is likely that pests would consume a much higher percentage. Changing agricultural practices and natural or chemically-induced shifts in pest populations require constant updating of plant protection procedures. Chemical pesticides will probably remain part of a larger toolbox of diverse pest-management tactics in the near future, whereas new pesticides are attracting global attention as safer strategy to manage pest populations. Agricultural worker safety remains always a serious concern. The future of pesticide use in an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) regime is expected to depend on the continuation of existing pest management tactics and technology including the use of pesticides. For this Special Issue on “Pesticides in Agriculture”, we are ready to accept papers that enhance our understanding of the role of the safe use of pesticides in current agricultural practice and discuss opportunities for new pesticides with increased safety profiles. Papers that fall along the continuum of pesticide use will be considered.

Dr. Christos A. Damalas
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Biopesticides
  • New pesticides
  • Pesticide formulation
  • Pesticide use practices
  • Agricultural exposure
  • Safety behaviours

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial Current Status and Recent Developments in Biopesticide Use
Agriculture 2018, 8(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8010013
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 17 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (209 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biopesticides have attracted attention in pest management in recent decades, and have long been promoted as prospective alternatives to synthetic pesticides. Biopesticides have also attracted great interest in the international research community, with a significant increase in the number of publications devoted to
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Biopesticides have attracted attention in pest management in recent decades, and have long been promoted as prospective alternatives to synthetic pesticides. Biopesticides have also attracted great interest in the international research community, with a significant increase in the number of publications devoted to the subject. Recently, new substances, like strains of the fungus Talaromyces flavus SAY-Y-94-01, extracts of the plant Clitoria ternatea (butterfly pea), products of the fungus Trichoderma harzianum, products of the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis var. tenebrionis strain Xd3 (Btt-Xd3), the alkaloid compound oxymatrine, fermentation products of the bacterium Lactobacillus casei strain LPT-111, stilbenes accumulated in grape canes, and olive mill wastes, have been reported in the literature as promising compounds for use as biopesticides, but more field research is required to assess the effects on specific pest problems under diverse cropping systems. Nevertheless, biopesticides have not yet reached the desired level of use, whereby they could displace the dominance of chemical pesticides, given that the commercialization of new products in the market is lagging behind. Currently, biopesticides comprise a small share of the total crop protection market globally, with a value of about $3 billion worldwide, accounting for just 5% of the total crop protection market. Fewer biopesticide-active substances are registered in the European Union (EU) than in the United States, India, Brazil, or China, due to long and complex registration processes in the EU, which follow the model for the registration of conventional pesticides. Nanoformulations and microencapsulation technologies can improve the stability and residual action of biopesticide products, and this could increase their field use. Regulations that promote registration of low-risk compounds with the provision of incentives could also facilitate commercialization and availability of biopesticides in the market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides in Agriculture System)

Research

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Open AccessArticle Pesticide Use in Northern Ireland’s Arable Crops from 1992–2016 and Implications for Future Policy Development
Agriculture 2018, 8(8), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8080123
Received: 4 July 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 31 July 2018 / Published: 8 August 2018
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Abstract
Since the 1960s, the objective for the United Kingdom (UK) government policy and legislation on crop protection practices has been to minimise the impact of pesticide use in agriculture and horticulture to the wider environment. Subsequent European Union (EU) policy and legislation have
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Since the 1960s, the objective for the United Kingdom (UK) government policy and legislation on crop protection practices has been to minimise the impact of pesticide use in agriculture and horticulture to the wider environment. Subsequent European Union (EU) policy and legislation have also targeted this objective through a demanding approvals process, competency tests for users, maximum residue limits, regular post-registration monitoring and the promotion of integrated pest and disease management techniques. However, none of this substantive regulation refers to target reduction levels for pesticide use. Since 1992, the number of arable farms in Northern Ireland has decreased by 61% with a consequent reduction of 34% in the area of arable crops grown. Despite this reduction in area of arable crops grown, the area treated by the major pesticide groups increased by 49% due to intensification, but the weight of major pesticides applied to arable crops decreased by 37%. However, the intensity of application measured by the total quantity of all pesticides applied to the basic area of arable crops treated remained relatively constant at approximately 3.2 kg/ha. Pesticide usage trends and reduction policies in other geographic regions are also discussed for comparative purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides in Agriculture System)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Economic Impacts of Pesticide Regulations
Agriculture 2018, 8(4), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8040053
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 29 March 2018 / Published: 3 April 2018
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Abstract
Economic impacts of pesticide regulations are assessed using five alternative methodologies. The regulations include crop supply-enhancing eradication programs and crop supply-decreasing pesticide bans. Alternative assessment methodologies differ regarding assumptions about market price and crop acreage adjustments. Results show that market and producer adjustments
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Economic impacts of pesticide regulations are assessed using five alternative methodologies. The regulations include crop supply-enhancing eradication programs and crop supply-decreasing pesticide bans. Alternative assessment methodologies differ regarding assumptions about market price and crop acreage adjustments. Results show that market and producer adjustments substantially impact conclusions about winners and losers from regulations, and estimated welfare effects can differ widely between the different methodologies. For small technological changes such as the hypothetical pendimethalin regulation, farm budgeting and sector modeling yield similar estimates. For more severe technological changes—like the boll weevil eradication program—simple budgeting approaches lead to a substantial bias. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides in Agriculture System)
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Open AccessArticle Translocation of Endosulfan from Soil to Ginseng (Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer)
Agriculture 2018, 8(4), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8040052
Received: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 29 March 2018 / Published: 3 April 2018
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Abstract
This study was conducted to examine the translocation of highly residual agrochemical in soil, the endosulfan (total), to ginseng (Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer). The soil with the level of the amount of 5.0 mg kg−1 of endosulfan (total) was prepared
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This study was conducted to examine the translocation of highly residual agrochemical in soil, the endosulfan (total), to ginseng (Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer). The soil with the level of the amount of 5.0 mg kg−1 of endosulfan (total) was prepared in a Wagner pot into which the seedling of ginseng was transplanted and then the specimens of ginseng (root, leaf, and stem) were collected quarterly and analyzed through GC-MS. The level of residual of endosulfan (total) in the soil has decreased from 4.28 mg kg−1 (April 2013) to 1.94 mg kg−1 (December 2014) while the level in the specimens of leaf and stem of ginseng respectively sampled according to its growth phase in June and September from 2013 and 2014 showed an increase from 0.56 mg kg−1 (June 2013) to 2.46 mg kg−1 (September 2013) and decrease from 0.29 mg kg−1 (June 2014) to 0.18 mg kg−1 (September 2014). For the case of the root of ginseng, the level of the amount of 10.77 mg kg−1 of endosulfan (total) was detected in June 2013 and then, the level has decreased to the level of 4.88 mg kg−1 in December 2014. The translocation of residual endosulfan (total) in soil to ginseng with time was identified. The amount of residuals of α-endosulfan and β-endosulfan was also decreased with time however, the ratio of endosulfan-sulfate, the main metabolite, was gradually increasing. The retention of metabolite (endosulfan-sulfate) in soil identified thereby thus suggests the potential of its translocation to plants in the case of the soils containing the residual of endosulfan (total). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides in Agriculture System)
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Open AccessArticle Determinants of Pesticide Use in Food Crop Production in Southeastern Nigeria
Agriculture 2018, 8(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8030035
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 17 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (254 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study examines pesticide use in producing multiple food crops (i.e., rice, yam, and cassava) and identifies the range of socio-economic factors influencing pesticide use by 400 farmers from Ebonyi and Anambra states of Southeastern Nigeria using a Tobit model. Results reveal
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The present study examines pesticide use in producing multiple food crops (i.e., rice, yam, and cassava) and identifies the range of socio-economic factors influencing pesticide use by 400 farmers from Ebonyi and Anambra states of Southeastern Nigeria using a Tobit model. Results reveal that 68% of the farmers grew at least two food crops. Overall, 41% of the farmers applied pesticides in at least one food crop, whereas 70% of the farmers producing both rice and yam applied pesticides. Pesticide use rates and costs vary significantly amongst farmers producing different food crops and crop combinations. Pesticide use rate is highest for producing yam followed by cassava estimated at 1.52 L/ha costing Naira 1677.97 per ha and 1.37 L/ha costing Naira 1514.96 per ha. Similarly, pesticide use rate is highest for the farmers that produce both yam and cassava followed by farmers that produce both rice and cassava. The inverse farm size–pesticide use rate exists in the study areas, i.e., the pesticide use rate is highest for the small farmers (p < 0.01). Farmers seem to treat pesticides as substitutes for labor and ploughing services, indicated by the significant positive influence of labor wage and ploughing price on pesticide use. Increases in yam price significantly increase pesticide use. Rice production significantly increases pesticide use, whereas cassava production significantly reduces pesticide use. Male farmers use significantly more pesticides. Farming experience is significantly positively related to pesticide use. Policy recommendations include land reform policies aimed at increasing farm operation size and investment in programmes to promote cassava production to reduce pesticide use in food crop production in Southeastern Nigeria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides in Agriculture System)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Farmers’ Criteria for Pesticide Selection and Use in the Pest Control Process
Agriculture 2018, 8(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8020024
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 7 February 2018 / Published: 12 February 2018
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Abstract
Chemical pesticides have been widely overused by farmers in Iran, but farmers’ criteria for pesticide selection and use are not well understood. A field survey of 411 farmers was carried out in Mazandaran, Iran, to study farmers’ criteria for selecting and using pesticides
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Chemical pesticides have been widely overused by farmers in Iran, but farmers’ criteria for pesticide selection and use are not well understood. A field survey of 411 farmers was carried out in Mazandaran, Iran, to study farmers’ criteria for selecting and using pesticides in the pest control process and explaining differences in selection criteria among farmers. From a list with a total of 25 criteria, five main groups were identified as key decision criteria for pesticide selection and use, using factor analysis. These groups included: (i) performance and effectiveness criteria, (ii) awareness and information criteria, (iii) technical and operational criteria, (iv) environmental criteria, and (v) financial and accessibility criteria. Performance and effectiveness criteria had the highest importance for farmers when selecting and using pesticides (mean 3.45), followed by financial and accessibility criteria (mean 3.28). Farmers who received training regarding pesticide use (mean 2.23 vs. 1.90) and farmers who had experience with integrated pest management (IPM) practices (mean 2.46 vs. 1.79) tended to consider environmental criteria when selecting and using pesticides. Similarly, farmers who experienced health risks related to working with pesticides (mean 2.0 vs. 1.77), farmers who used protection when spraying (mean 2.58 vs. 1.87), and farmers who knew about natural enemies of pests (mean 2.11 vs. 1.85) tended to consider environmental criteria when selecting and using pesticides. Farmers without off-farm income tended to consider financial and accessibility criteria more than farmers with off-farm income (mean 3.40 vs. 3.18). Farmers with college education favored awareness and information criteria, whereas experienced farmers favored the criteria of performance and effectiveness. Farmers with a high income showed a tendency to prefer performance and effectiveness criteria more than farmers with less income. Farmers who thought that pesticides are hazardous preferred environmental criteria more than farmers who thought that pesticides are not hazardous. Farmers who believed in the effectiveness of alternatives to chemical pest control (e.g., use of biological control, pheromone traps, or cultural control) preferred performance and effectiveness criteria less than farmers who believed no effectiveness or slight effectiveness of alternatives to chemical pest control. The findings provide useful information for better understanding factors affecting farmers’ choices of pesticides and for improving future extension courses related to farmers’ decisions about pesticide use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides in Agriculture System)
Open AccessArticle Farmers’ Knowledge on Pesticide Safety and Pest Management Practices: A Case Study of Vegetable Growers in Chitwan, Nepal
Agriculture 2018, 8(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8010016
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
Farmers’ knowledge on pesticides and their safe use are critical for implementing effective pest management program. A household survey was conducted using the semi-structured questionnaire to evaluate vegetable growers’ knowledge on pesticide safety and pest management practices in Nepal. Results indicated that chemical
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Farmers’ knowledge on pesticides and their safe use are critical for implementing effective pest management program. A household survey was conducted using the semi-structured questionnaire to evaluate vegetable growers’ knowledge on pesticide safety and pest management practices in Nepal. Results indicated that chemical pesticides were the primary choice of over 80% growers for pest management. Notably, 90% growers were aware of adverse effects of pesticides on human health and to the environment. Over 84% growers used at least one form of personal protection equipment (PPE) during pesticide spray or handling, although the quality and appropriateness of the PPE warrants further investigation. Nearly 17% growers received at least one short-term training on integrated pest management (IPM); however, all of them neither knew the harmful effects of pesticide residues nor practiced proper pesticide disposal methods. Over 90% of growers rely on local pesticide retailers (i.e., Agro-vets) for technical know-how about pesticide selection, handling, and use. This study highlighted a need for immediate implementation of strict pesticide use regulations and recommended educational programs for pest control professionals, growers, and pesticide retailers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides in Agriculture System)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Farmers’ Technical Knowledge about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Olive Production
Agriculture 2017, 7(12), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture7120101
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (223 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a sustainable approach of pest control, contributing to reduced use of pesticides and risks on human health and the environment, farmers have shown limited interest in practicing this method. The present study explored the levels of technical
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While Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a sustainable approach of pest control, contributing to reduced use of pesticides and risks on human health and the environment, farmers have shown limited interest in practicing this method. The present study explored the levels of technical knowledge about integrated management of the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae) among olive growers in Roudbar County of Iran and factors underpinning olive farmers’ technical knowledge of integrated management. Data were collected in a survey of olive farmers, on the basis of a structured questionnaire. Almost half of the farmers (48.4%) had good to excellent levels of technical knowledge of integrated management, while almost a third of the farmers (35.4%) had a moderate knowledge level. However, a noticeable portion of the farmers (15.9%) had poor knowledge of integrated management. Moreover, most farmers showed average knowledge of the adverse effects of pesticides on human health. While most farmers showed good levels of social participation, cooperation with institutes, and participation in extension activities, they showed low levels of community involvement (involvement in a group of people that have and share common interests with each other). Olive imports and the lack of a common action for olive fly control were perceived as the main barriers of IPM adoption among most farmers. Regression analysis revealed that increased community involvement, large area under olive farming, participation in education activities, and high farming experience promoted farmers’ technical knowledge of integrated olive fly control. Strengthening growers’ technical knowledge of IPM through community involvement and extension services among inexperienced small-scale olive farmers is recommended for reducing possible unnecessary insecticide sprays in olive production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides in Agriculture System)

Review

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Open AccessReview The Physical Chemistry of Pesticides in Soil and Water
Agriculture 2017, 7(11), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture7110091
Received: 21 August 2017 / Revised: 22 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 28 October 2017
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Abstract
Soils are the ultimate examples of physically and chemically irregular mixtures. They are also dynamic. Early investigators consequently did not understand the physical chemistry of pesticides in soil and water. By taking shortcuts instead of trying to understand the physical chemistry, they measured
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Soils are the ultimate examples of physically and chemically irregular mixtures. They are also dynamic. Early investigators consequently did not understand the physical chemistry of pesticides in soil and water. By taking shortcuts instead of trying to understand the physical chemistry, they measured the wrong variables, used the wrong units, calculated the wrong parameters, and totally ignored chemical stoichiometry. Theoretical concepts for the physical chemistry of pesticides in soil have been published during the last quarter century. They are experimentally supported. Yet, chemically incorrect descriptions persist in the literature to this day. That has serious environmental and economic consequences. In particular, government regulators make legally binding pesticide decisions based on computer predictions that are wrong by 1 to 3 orders of magnitude. This needs the attention of scientists, governments, and multinational corporations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pesticides in Agriculture System)
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