Pesticide Reduction Using Friendly and Environmentally Controlled Technologies
Total activity: 2
Type of activity
EURCOM-D.G.FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Funding entity code
LIFE 17 ENV/ES000205
Background Pesticides applied to crops can enter soil and surface waters and percolate down into groundwater. This can lead to biodiversity loss in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, particularly of insect species not targeted by the pesticides. Pollination, the formation and composition of soil, and drinking water quality can all suffer as a result. Pesticide residues in food may also pose a risk to human health while residues in animal feed can both harm the animals and enter the food chain. Particular concerns have been raised about the health impacts of human exposure to pesticides with endocrine-disrupting properties and the associated costs to human health. The EU Directive on Sustainable Use of Pesticides seeks to reduce the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment. It also aims to promote the use of integrated pest management and of alternative approaches or techniques, such as non-chemical alternatives to pesticides. EU Member States have drawn up national actions plans to implement the Directive. When pesticides are sprayed on crops, not all of the active substance reaches its intended target, some of it drifts away. This 'spray drift' is considered the major source of diffuse environmental contamination by crop farmers in Italy and Spain. The Directive on Sustainable Use of Pesticides encourages the use of mitigation measures to reduce environmental pollution. The efficiency of existing means of mitigating the impact of spray drift, such as drift-reducing nozzles and air deflectors, as well as the development of new strategies for its reduction, is essential to minimise the release of pesticides into the atmosphere.
Objectives PERFECT LIFE seeks to demonstrate new tools for reducing the impact of pesticide spray drift on flora, fauna and human health. This will include tools for optimal volume rate adjustment, to reduce the amount of pesticide sprayed, as well as tools for drift reduction. The rate adjustment tools will be tested in citrus groves and vineyards in Spain (Catalonia and Valencia), France (Languedoc) and Italy (Piedmont). It will also modify a tool for fast direct atmospheric dioxin detection, developed by an earlier LIFE project, to measure the impact of spray drift in real agricultural conditions. A business plan for this device will be drawn up. The project will develop procedures for low-impact pesticides application, based on its findings. It will also share its know-how with farmers, agricultural technicians, stautory agencies and governments to ensure widespread uptake. The project thus helps to implement EU chemical policy in Mediterranean countries, including both the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive and REACH Regulation. It also supports the implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the agri-environment measures of the EU common agricultural policy.
Expected results: A general procedure for low emission pesticide application using tools for optimal volume rate adjustment and drift reduction; An 8-20% reduction in plant protection products released into the environment (8% in Languedoc, 9% in Piedmont and Catalonia, 20% in Valencia); A 10-15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the test plots; An 8-26% reduction in the cost of applying pesticides; An 8-13% reduction in water consumption; A 10-19% reduction in carbon footprint; A 25-50% reduction in pesticide airborne drift and associated risk for bystanders; A 10-20% reduction in pesticide risk for wild aquatic and terrestrial organisms outside the areas sprayed; Identification of inert compounds of pesticides and the main secondary products from pesticide degradation in air; Development and validation of a new instrument that can quickly measure pesticide drift. This will be 80-90% quicker at sampling and analysis than current methods; A business plan for possible future commercialisation of the new technology to determine pesticides in soil and air, study pesticide spray drift and/or to assess the application of pesticides from a health standpoint in real agricultural conditions; A database of airborne drift values in the atmosphere and the relationship between them. This will be use both direct and indirect measurements; and Hazard Quotients less than 1 (no adverse effects) in risk assessment studies for all compounds when using drift-reducing techniques.
LIFE+ call for proposals
European Commission. Directorate-general For The Environment
Gil, E.; Campos, J.; Ortega, P.; Llop, J.; Gras, A.; Armengol, E.; Salcedo, R.; Gallart, M. Computers and electronics in agriculture Vol. 160, num. May, p. 117-130 DOI: 10.1016/j.compag.2019.03.018 Date of publication: 2019-05-01 Journal article