A phytosanitary is a product that contains one or more active substances and that it is destined for:
- - To protect vegetables or vegetable products against harmful organisms or avoid their action.
- - To influence the vital process of the vegetables.
- - To improve the conservation of vegetable products.
- - To destroy vegetables or vegetables’ parts or control or avoid an inadequate growing.
The use of these chemical products has been one of the basis for crop production. However, if these practices are utilised badly, they can be very dangerous either for the environment or the human health.
The abuse on the use of these products creates important problems of environmental pollution, since these products accumulate in the soil and in the water. Another serious problem is the creation of resistances to products or chemical groups because, when a product is effective, there is a tendency to use it repeatedly, As a consequence, the chances to control pest, diseases and weeds decrease.
Besides, most of the phytosanitaries are also harmful for natural enemies, so an ecological imbalance is produced.
The Directive 2009/128/EC establishes the framework to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides, giving priority to non-chemical alternatives and making a correct use of phytosanitary products when necessary (dose limitation, number of applications, specific treatments, etc.). Furthermore, phytosanitary products have to be specific for the pest or disease and have to have the minimum side effects for human health, for the environment, and for the beneficial organisms. In this sense, the use of most respectful phytosanitaries such as bioplaguicides or other products has to be prioritized
Implementation of this measure in LIFE AGROintegra project:
The reduction in the use of synthesis phytosanitary products maintaining production and quality of crops has been the most important aim of all the real-scale demonstrations and the transformation of farms in LIFE AGROintegra project-
Some trials have tried to demonstrate the possibility of optimizing the use of phytosanitaries, through different strategies:
- Strategies to reduce the dose of fungicide to control yellow rust in wheat.
- Moments of application of herbicides to control weeds in cereals.