What pesticides are being applied to grass and fodder crops each year?

All pesticides applied to grassland in 2017 were herbicides. 494,312kg of active substances were applied to grassland.

This information comes from a Pesticide Usage Survey on grassland and fodder crops carried out by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

In 2017, approximately 4.62 million hectares of grassland were grown in Ireland and the average weight of pesticides applied to grassland crops per hectare grown in Ireland was 0.09kg/ha in 2017.

What products were used most?

Of the active substances applied, MCPA was by far the most used herbicide. 94,587kg of MCPA were applied to permanent grassland in 2017.

Glyphosate was the second most common product. 38,111kg of glyphosate were applied to permanent grassland in 2017; while 24,071kg of 2,4-D were applied; 15,288kg of triclopyr; and 12,877kg of fluroxypyr. Other active substances were applied in significantly lower quantities.

MCPA, triclopyr and fluroxypyr were the most common active substances applied to first and second-cut silage.

Reseeding

In 2017, 75,331ha of grass were reseeded in Ireland. The department estimates that 64,939kg of the active ingredient glyphosate were used on this land.

Fodder crops

21,877kg of active substances were estimated to be applied to fodder crops in 2017. These crops included arable silage, maize, kale, rape, turnips and beet.

81% of the active substances applied to fodder crops were herbicides. 16% were fungicides, while seed treatments accounted for 3% of the active substances applied to fodder crops. Insecticides, molluscicides and plant growth regulators accounted for the remainder of the active substances at 1% each.

Data source: DAFM

Ireland’s average pesticide use

Ireland uses a relatively low volume of pesticides compared to other EU countries at just 0.7kg/ha of utilised agricultural land. The average in the EU is 2.2kg/ha of utilised agricultural land.

Survey information

530 holdings were surveyed and these holdings represented 0.71% of the total area of grassland and fodder crops grown in 2017.

Over the next few days AgriLand will bring readers information on pesticide usage in Ireland on tillage, fodder and grass crops, along with information on pesticides not used in agriculture.