Environmental impact assessment of chemical plant protection in intensive crop production

Environmental impact assessment of chemical plant protection in intensive crop productionDownload file
HOLKA, M.ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF CHEMICAL PLANT PROTECTION IN INTENSIVE CROP PRODUCTION

2017, 18(3), p.529 - 541, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5513/JCEA01/18.3.1926

Abstract

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.

Keywords:
environmental impactintensive crop productionplant protection productspotential toxicity index