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Herbicide use efficiency in crop production – 2018 until 2022

Summary:

One of the major strategies to improve sustainability of agricultural systems is to reduce the inputs for crop production. The use of chemical herbicides is a longstanding controversial issue between the farming, scientific and public communities, which currently gained a new momentum following the renewal of the glyphosate license for another five years in the European Union. European farmers are obliged to reduce pesticide use by adopting the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) (European Directive 2009/128/EC on sustainable use of pesticides). Yet, the management of weeds constitutes a challenge of paramount importance for the future production of high quality agronomic crops.
In order to draw conclusions about possible policy interventions concerning the use of pesticides, this project investigates the role of pesticide application in production efficiency. As pesticide use efficiency relates to harvest yield, stricter regulation such as bans or use restrictions will reduce production efficiency, resulting in a loss of profitability, if pesticides are applied optimally in the production process. However, if certain pesticide use strategies are not optimizing yield effects, room for ecological improvement could open up, meaning that pesticide quantity could be reduced without decreasing yields and farm profitability. Within this project, we aim at identifying the drivers of pesticide use efficiency, which contributes to improving strategies for herbicide input reduction in arable farming.

Project team:

Prof. Dr. Silke Hüttel, Dr. Reinhard Uehleke

Collaboration partners:

Prof. Dr. Bärbel Gerowitt (Rostock University)
Dr. Sabine Andert (Rostock University)

Contact:

 

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