Costs and effectiveness of on-farm measures to reduce aquatic risks from pesticides from the Netherlands

M.M. van Eerdt, J. Spruijt-Verkerke, A.J. van der Wal, H. van Zeijts, A. Tiktak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background The European Union requires growers to implement the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) by 2014. In this paper, we provide a quantitative overview of the costs and effectiveness of voluntary IPM measures in 15 crops in the Netherlands. We will focus on aquatic risks and define effectiveness as the potential to reduce the risks posed to aquatic organisms. We further identify which of these measures have actually been adopted by growers and why certain measures have not been adopted. Results Of the 105 measures evaluated, the most effective measures with respect to risk reduction were emission reduction and substitution of high-risk pesticides (each up to 80% reduction). IPM measures directed towards lowering pesticide use generally showed a smaller risk reducing potential. However, 40% of these measures reduced the overall cost of pest management. About 60% of all 105 measures were voluntarily implemented by growers. The most commonly adopted measures were pest prevention, low-dose spraying and spray drift reduction. Cost appeared to be an important incentive for adoption; however, other factors such as risk perception, education and practicability were equally important. Conclusions Voluntary IPM measures have significantly contributed to reducing aquatic risks (15-50% risk reduction depending on crop type). Further risk reduction could be achieved when more growers adopt the most effective measures like spray drift reduction and substitution of high-risk pesticides. However, IPM hardly reduced the number of pesticide applications and therefore the dependence on chemical crop protection continued to be high.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1840-1849
JournalPest Management Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • integrated pest-management
  • agriculture
  • communities
  • strategies
  • ipm


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