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New Zealand Plant Protection 62 (2009): 321-327

Progress in pesticide risk reduction in New Zealand horticulture

J.T.S. Walker, N.M. Park, B.E. Clothier, D.W.L. Manktelow, C.W. Van Den Dijssel, A.J. Hodson, M.J. Barley and L.R. Hodson-Kersey

ABSTRACT

The New Zealand horticultural sector has made substantial progress in pesticide risk reduction by implementing sustainability programmes. Apple and winegrape pesticide use was analysed to measure changes in human and aquatic eco-toxicity arising from these initiatives using the Hazardous Substances and New Organism 1996 Act (HSNO) classification system. In 1995 insecticide use on apples and winegrapes was 11.6 and 0.31 kg ai/ha respectively, while fungicide loadings were similar, about 30 kg ai/ha. Since then insecticide loading on apples has decreased by 80% with much lower potential human toxicity. Growers following Integrated Fruit Production guidelines reduced fungicide loadings by 45% but expansion of organic apple production increased the sector's total fungicide use. The wine sector has reduced their total agrichemical loading of insecticides by 72% and fungicides by 62%, mostly through lower use of sulphur fungicides. Both sectors have reduced their use of agrichemicals that are potentially toxic to aquatic ecosystems.

Keywords: pesticide risk, pesticide hazards, worker exposure, apples, winegrapes.

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