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Volume of pesticides sold in Germany up again

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

Pesticides are sprayed onto a field.
Pesticides are sprayed onto a field. Symbol picture © Pixabay/hpgruesen

In 2017, pesticide manufacturers sold a total of 277 different active ingredients in a total volume of 34,583 tons. That was 2,300 tons or 7% more than in the previous year. These figures were released by the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL, German: Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit).

Glyphosate most important active substance in terms of quantity

Herbicides accounted for almost half of this quantity, and a good 13,000 tons were fungicides against fungal diseases. Insecticides did not play a major role in terms of quantity with 857 tons, although they are already effective in much smaller quantities than the other spray poisons. The increase was evenly distributed across all three pesticide categories. Also included in the statistics were 3,400 tons of growth regulators, which are mainly used in cereals to prevent the stalks from growing too high. Glyphosate was the most important active substance in terms of quantity. BVL statistics mention 4694 tons of organophosphorus herbicides, almost all of which are glyphosate. Compared to the previous year, the quantity increased by 900 tons.

Otherwise, the figures show that the amount of active substances used has been relatively stable for 40 years and varies between 26,000 and 36,000 tons. However, the drugs became much more effective during this time. For killing weeds and insects, much smaller amounts are sufficient than in the past. So far, all official efforts to reduce the use of pesticides have had no effect.

Organic farming used sulphur in particular

The BVL writes that 3642 tons of the active substance quantity are also likely to be used in organic farming. Sulphur, which is the most important active substance in terms of quantity after glyphosate in the statistics, is likely to account for the lion's share of this. Copper hydroxide is listed in the size class 250 to 1000 tons. However, it is also used by conventional farms. Other preparations used in organic farming such as Spinosad and Bacillus Thuriengiensis against insects or Pseudomanas and Trichoderma for natural seed treatment hardly play a role with quantities below ten tons.

Pesticide manufacturers do not sell their active ingredients pure, but as ready-to-use mixtures to farmers. If all additives in these mixtures are added to the actual active ingredients, this results in a quantity of 48,306 tons of ready-to-use pesticides for 2017, distributed among 818 approved products.

 

Please also read:

Glyphosate and cancer: Bayer arraigned

EU bans three bee-harming neonics 


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