Subject area 1. Integrated plant protection and reduction in risk from plant protection products toward humans, farm animals and the environment
According to the Council Directive 91/414/EEC on the entry of plant products into the market, the European member countries are obligated to supervise the use of plant protection products and to reduce their impact on the environment. Considering the proposed document “Strategy for sustainable rural development, agriculture and fishing” a special emphasis should be paid by farmers toward using the principles of good agricultural practice in integrated production methods.
The research proposed in this subject area consider the requirements with regard to agriculture within the framework of the programme “National Strategic Plan for Rural Development for 2007–2013”.
In order to meet the requirements dealing with supervision of plant protection product trade and use, additional analyses are necessary regarding the quality and residues in plant products. Some specific data are required to assess the risk of plant protection product use. Therefore, within the framework of this Programme the following research work will be conducted on monitoring of:
1) plant protection product use,
2) pesticide residues,
3) plant protection product quality
4) plant protection product trade.
Project 1.1. Up-dating and developing integrated plant protection methods
The goal of this project is to up-date and develop new programmes for agrophages’ reduction in agricultural crops such as winter wheat, spring barley and winter triticale, maize, oilseed rape with the consideration of their involvement in integrated plant protection schemes as required.
According to the Directive 2009/128/EC all member countries of the European Union are obligated to introduce, implement and use integrated plant protection programmes by 2014. The main purpose of these new plant protection systems which are based on the principles of sustainable agriculture is to combine good agricultural practice with environment protection.
The programmes that are developed will contribute to an increase in production and improvement of agricultural product quality. The programmes are provided to those who are involved in agricultural production, that is producers, advisers and plant protection service
Project 1.2. Assessment of possible complex protection of minor crops
The aim of this project is to develop complex protection programmes for selected species of minor crops including bioenergy crops. Due to a shortage of efficient control methods, there is a need for conducting research to broaden the range of authorized plant protection products and concomitantly fulfilling the requirements and regulations for the safety of humans, farm animals and the environment. Additional laboratory, greenhouse and field trials will be implemented to determine the risk and effect of using new plant protection products.
The results of this project are directed to all parties interested in obtaining permits for using plant protection products in minor crops, regardless of their labelling instruction. These are agricultural state institutions, scientific centres, social and professional organizations of farmers as well as the Agricultural Chambers. The results obtained are also directed to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Project 1.3. Monitoring of agrophages’ acquired resistance to plant protection products and development of risk reduction programmes
This project is aimed at developing strategies for using different chemical groups of pesticides against resistant agrophages with consideration of fungicides, insecticides acaricides and herbicides. In the territory of the Republic Poland the phenomenon of occurrence of agropphages’ resistance to all groups of plant protection products was confirmed by numerous reports of the Main Inspectorate of Plant Health and Seed Inspection as well as by the results of research conducted by the IPP – NRI and other research centres. An additional factor that favours the increasing occurrence of resistance is a decreasing number of available active substances. One of the most important aims of integrated plant protection programmes is the implementation of strategies to prevent resistance of agrophages to plant protection products.
A resistance risk analysis must also be considered in the case of new plant protection products being authorized for trade.
The results of this research are directed to agricultural producers and advisers as well as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Project 1.4. Adaptation and implementation of Decision Support Systems for plant protection to Polish conditions
One of the most important elements of integrated plant protection are Decision Support Systems on the application of treatments based on programmes for determining optimal treatment timing. The programmes mentioned above strive to reduce the number of treatments and ensure efficient crop protection. This may contribute to a higher level of safety for consumers and the environment as well as improve the level of plant protection in Poland.
Proposed changes in agrophages’ control methods relies on discarding the previous systems based on the “calendar” as well as on reduced use of plant protection products. As a result of these changes there is a requirement to implement and extend the Decision Support System (DSS) – as an important tool of integrated plant protection.
These systems operate by a direct transfer of meteorological data to the programme. A good example is the Internet service for potato late blight warning system. There are some other systems for the control of agrophages, developed on the basis of mathematical algorithms without automatic transfer of meteorological data. The Decision Support Systems and computer programmes for short-term forecasting of insect pests’ incidence in agricultural crops are available on the Internet web of the Institute of Plant Protection – NRI. They are also published in popular and extension publications and presented during scientific conferences.
Project 1.5. Modernization and updating of agrophages monitoring methods for short- and long-term forecasting requirements
The European Membership States are required to implement the Integrated Pest Management for all crops by January 2014. Thus, accurate methods of short- and long-term forecasting of agrophages’ occurrence are of special value.
The aim of the present work is the development of new, updated methods for monitoring with consideration of recent findings, changes in cultivar selection and cultivation technology as well as climatic changes. The completion of this task depends on using the available information and the results of research to modernize the current methods.
A good plant protection practice that considers performance of agrophages’ monitoring on protected plantations relies on the assessment of intensity of disease symptoms or pest level at the end of each vegetative season – a long term forecast; at the beginning of a new growing season – a medium-term forecast, and during the vegetative season on a given plantation for the requirements of short-term forecasting and to verify the economic thresholds of harmfulness.
The obtained research results are directed to agricultural producers and advisers for the requirements of agrophages’ short-term forecasting.
Project 1.6. Dissemination and implementation of the information on integrated plant protection
The purpose of this program is an extension of the information on integrated plant protection according to most important national and international regulations, and its implementation to agricultural practice by producers, advisers and regional units of Plant Health and Seed Inspection.
The intention is that the rural inhabitants as food producers voluntarily and knowingly respect the established standard of good protection practice with a sense of responsibility and solidarity with the farmers of other European countries. Professional knowledge distributed in the form of textbooks , scientific, popular and extension brochures or leaflets is an essential complement to training and courses.
Project 1.7. Developing statistical bases for checking activities performed by the Plant Health and Seed Inspection
The aim of this project is the development of statistical bases to determine the optimal number of inspections carried out by the Plant Health and Seed Inspection. The range of assessment activities (inspections) should be defined in a way providing reliable results. It is important to assure a high detection level of irregularities as well as to create a good basis for the assessment of phytosanitary crop conditions regarding occurrence of noxious organisms covered by law regulations.
Main programmes in the range of plant protection product use and trade:
1) development of statistical bases for checking plant protection product quality depending on the kind and number of collected samples,
2) development of statistical bases for detection of pesticide residues in plant material,
3) development of statistical bases for checking the use of plant protection products by agricultural farms and enterprises in commercial production.
The aim of performed activities within the framework of this task is to evaluate the phytosanitary state of agricultural crops on the territory of the Republic of Poland.
The results of the present work are used by inspectors of the Main Inspectorate of Plant Health and Seed Inspection and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Project 1.8. Investigation on pesticides’ residues in agricultural products
The aim of this work is detection of pesticide residues in agriculture products for the requirements of official inspections carried out by Plant Health and Seed Inspection to determine whether the use of plant protection products is in compliance with government regulations. Within the framework of official inspections samples of agricultural products collected by Plant Health and Seed Inspection will be tested according to the art. 80, entry 3 of the Regulation of 18 December 2003 on Plant Protection.
The results are used by inspectors of Plant Health and Seed Inspection for the purpose of their assessment activities and by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Project 1.9. Performing quality analyses of active substance and plant protection products
Investigations are conducted on the need of official inspections carried out by the Main Inspectorate of Plant Health and Seed Inspection to determine whether the plant protection products authorized for the market are of a proper quality and fulfil technical requirements established at their registration.
Physical and chemical properties of plant protection products, content of active substance, and in justified cases the phytotoxicity to different organisms will be tested under the laboratory conditions. Plant protection products suspected to be counterfeit as well as products imported within the framework of parallel import will be tested for the requirements of official inspections. Moreover, technical concentrates of plant protection products are tested for their purity (i.e. impurity profile). Purity of the active substance is an important parameter taken into account during the approval of authorization of plant protection product for a trade. The above mentioned test allows to determine a source of the active substance. A monitoring of prescription compliance defined during the process of registration of the active substance will be also a subject of performed tests.
Project 1.10. Analysis of data on sales and use of plant protection products and determining risk indexes for their use
Within the framework of this work, an analysis is performed concerning the sales and use of plant protection products in the Republic of Poland. Both the method used and the quality of data collection and calculations should fulfil the requirements of the binding Regulation. The task will be accomplished within the framework of a close cooperation with the Central Statistical Office of the Republic of Poland.
A monitoring of the use and sales of plant protection products is an important element of the risk analysis for their influence on the environment.
The second objective of this work is a creation of the mechanism for risk monitoring of the use of plant protection products. Here “pesticide risk indexes” are a useful tool which is a function of the risk and parameters related to the use of plant protection products.