In the second of our country profiles we examine Germany, where the task of implementing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) through the National Action Plan (NAP) is being addressed through a range of measures. The most important of these is the development of crop or sector specific guidelines designed to provide farmers with the information they need to grow crops according to the principles of IPM.
In this article, Bernd Hommel, Bernd Freier, Jörn Strassemeyer and Dietmar Rossberg from the Julius Kühn-Institut in Kleinmachnow, Berlin, all key figures in the development of pesticide legislation and IPM implementation in Germany, provide an overview of current and future actions.
The use of pesticides in Germany is regulated in a comprehensive manner designed to provide a high level of safety and protection. The pesticide approval process, regulations on the sale and use of pesticides, and requirements for pesticide manufacturers, distributors, professional users, advisers and competent authorities, contained in both the Plant Protection Law and other areas of law relating to plant protection, are the principle instruments for pesticide regulation.
At the core of Germany's national implementation of the changes detailed in the European Commission's 'pesticides package' are the new German Plant Protection Act and its accompanying regulations, which are expected in 2011 or 2012. The current German National Action Plan on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides (NAP), which has been in force since 2008, is under review and will be revised to accommodate the provisions of the Sustainable Use Directive 2009/128/EC.
Key tools in Germany’s NAP
The NEPTUN survey project on pesticide use:
The Reference Farms Network to provide more information about pesticide use:
Table 1. Percentage of pesticide uses corresponding to the 'necessary minimum' in the Reference Farms Network.
|Crop||Winter wheat||Winter barley||Winter oilseed rape|
The Demonstration Farms Network to demonstrate crop or sector specific guidelines for IPM:
The risk indicator SYNOPS to annually monitor risk associated with pesticide use and identify hot spots
The SYNOPS model (Synoptic Evaluation Model for Pesticides) is used to measure progress towards the NAP's goal of a 25% reduction in risk by 2020 by estimating relative changes in potential risks to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems associated with the use of pesticides.
A variety of data sources are used in SYNOPS to assess pesticide use. Application strategies are derived from NEPTUN surveys or from the Reference Farms Network for regional risk analysis. Domestic pesticide sales volumes are used for risk assessments at the national level.
SYNOPS is used to link this data with known characteristics of the pesticide products, as specified in their registrations and instructions for use. After detailed consideration of the uses of a given pesticide, the model calculates the bioavailability parameters of the pesticide in three areas: soil, field margins and surface waters.
The calculated exposure parameters are correlated with the eco-toxicological effects of the active substance on a given target organism. Table 2 shows annual progress towards the 25% goal since 2006. It seems that fungicide use is the greatest constraint on reaching the 25% target.
Table 2. Trends in pesticide risk according to SYNOPS for aquatic and terrestrial reference organisms in Germany since 2006 (baseline: statistical means from 1996 to 2005; source: http://nap.jki.bund.de).
Implementation of IPM
From 1987, German plant protection legislation has taken the concept and principles of IPM into account, stating that all farmers should apply good agricultural practice which, among other things, means that the principles of IPM should be taken into consideration.
IPM is implemented through the NAP. The Demonstration Farms Network is one pillar, but the most important is the development of crop or sector specific guidelines on IPM. These guidelines are designed to provide farmers with sufficient information to grow crops according to the principles of IPM.
Currently, guidelines for fruit, wine and agricultural crops are under development. The guidelines will have to be approved by the steering committee for the German NAP. There is no intention of turning the IPM guidelines into law, but rather to provide farmers with solid growing instructions and recommendations that they can follow on the farm.