Original scientific paper
Environmental impact assessment of chemical plant protection in intensive crop production
2017, 18 (3) p. 529-541
The study aimed to assess the environmental impact of chemical plant protection on the environment in an intensive crop production. This was conducted in a large-scale farm, located in the Wielkopolska voivodeship (Poland), in the years 2010-2013. The greatest number of chemical plant protection treatments were carried out for root crops and the lowest number for annual fodder crops (approximately 4 and 2 treatments, respectively). On average, there were carried out 3 chemical protection treatments for one plant species. The largest quantities of active substances were used in protection of root crops (5.72 kg·ha-1), followed by annual fodder crops (2.97 kg·ha-1), and smaller ones in oilseed crops (2.63 kg·ha-1) and cereals (2.44 kg·ha-1). The average consumption of active substances was 2.68 kg·ha-1. The most consumed were herbicides and fungicides. The average value of the multi-criteria index of the impact of plant protection on the environment amounted to -63.9 points. The lowest value of the index, indicating the most negative impact, was found for protection of root crops (-135.3 points), followed by annual fodder crops (-100 points). While the highest index value, resulting from smaller use of toxic substances, had oilseed crops (-54 points) and cereals (-62.4 points). The environmental impact of chemical plant protection was mainly related to a high risk of volatilisation into the atmosphere, followed by leakage into groundwater and a risk of surface water contamination. The threat of bioaccumulation of substances in living organisms was smaller.