Pesticide risk reduction on crops in the province of Ontario
Sommaire de l'article
We analyzed the changes in pesticide use and risk in the Province of Ontario, Canada, from 1973 to 1998 to monitor the success of Food Systems 2002, a program to reduce pesticide use by 50%. Pesticide risk was calculated by multiplying the amount of pesticide used (kilo-grams of active ingredient) by the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ), a score for the potential risk of pesticides to farmworkers, consumers, and the environment. Pesticide use increased by 46% from 1973 to 1983. From 1983, the baseline year for Food Systems 2002, to 1998, pesticide use decreased by 38.5% and risk declined 39.5%. The reductions in pesticide use and risk were primarily on corn (Zea.mays L.) and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.), the crops with the highest pesticide use in 1983. Total pesticide use on soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] did not change, but the mean application rate (kg ha(-1)) decreased by 57%. Corn and soybean account for 65% of pesticide use, but have a relatively low pesticide use and risk per hectare and per tonne of production. Total pesticide use on tobacco, fruits, and vegetables was lower than on corn or soybean, but the pesticide use and risk per hectare were much higher. Small reductions in pesticide use on corn and soybean may allow a 50% reduction in pesticide use, but greater reductions in risk can be achieved by reducing the use of "high risk" pesticides on fruit and vegetables.