Crop protection in prevailing agricultural systems in the EU is highly dependent on plant protection products (PPPs) to protect plants against harmful weeds, pests and diseases. The use of PPPs is a cause of health, environmental and public concerns, and a key question is whether their use can be reduced while maintaining adequate yields. This study provides an overview and description of current and new crop protection practices, including mechanical techniques, plant breeding, biocontrol, induced resistance, applying ecological principles, precision agriculture (PA), and emerging plant protection products. The potential and impact of the new crop protection practices is assessed. It may be feasible to design resilient systems that are economically viable, have limited environmental impact and help improve biodiversity. Diverse cropping systems would have a natural resilience to weeds, pests, and diseases, and potentially reduce the dependency on PPPs, enabled by PA technologies. The main challenge is to integrate new varieties, mechanisation, and biocontrol tools in these systems. Continuous development of all crop protection practices is needed to ensure sufficient control of pests, weeds and diseases. The drivers and enablers for implementing alternative crop protection practices are identified, and an analysis of key legislation to support their use is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages108
ISBN (Electronic)9789284676859
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2021


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