GENET archive


9-Misc: Ontario farmers cut pesticides in fruit and vegetables byhalf without GE crops

                                  PART I
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Ontario farmers reduce their pesticide use by 52%
SOURCE: AGCare, Canada
DATE:   9 Jul 2004 

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Ontario farmers reduce their pesticide use by 52%

Guelph, Ontario, July 9, 2004 - Ontario farmers have once again shown
exceptional leadership in environmental stewardship, reducing their use
of pesticides by 52% since 1983.

"Cutting our pesticide use by more than half within twenty years is a
great achievement," stated Greg Hannam, Chair of AGCare (Agricultural
Groups Concerned About Resources and the Environment). "Farmers are very
proud of their environmental record when it comes to pesticide use."

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) has released the
results of its pesticide use survey, which has been completed every five
years since 1983. These surveys have shown a consistent decline in
agricultural pesticide use, as measured by total active ingredient
(a.i.), due to advancements in education, science, integrated pest
management (IPM), and biotechnology.

"Farmers are responsible pesticide users. Pesticides are a costly input
into crop production, and therefore we only use these products when it is
necessary," Hannam said.

"Ontario farmers are utilizing every mitigation strategy possible to
control pests in an environmentally and economically sustainable way,"
added Hugh Berges, Manager of Horticulture Technology, OMAF. "Society and
low profit margins demand it."

Overall pesticide use in fruit and vegetable crops decreased by 20% in
the last five years alone. Specifically, insecticide use in fruit
declined by 57%, while fungicide use in both fruit and vegetables was
reduced by 54% since 1998. Increased adoption of IPM and alternative pest
control strategies such as border sprays for migratory pests, mating
disruption, alternate row spraying, and pest monitoring are major reasons
for these large declines.

AGCare is a coalition of 17 agricultural groups that represent Ontario's
45,000 growers of field and horticultural crops. The organization
provides science and research-based information and policy initiatives on
pesticide use, crop biotechnology developments, nutrient management and
other related environmental issues on behalf of its membership.

A copy of the full report will be available at


                                  PART II
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Research finds GM cotton can cut pesticide use by half
SOURCE: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
DATE:   8 Jul 2004 

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Research finds GM cotton can cut pesticide use by half

New research has found genetically modified cotton can cut pesticide use
by half, while boosting the crop's biodiversity. The CSIRO study shows
over six years, growers who planted the Bt cotton variety reduced the
need to spray for cotton's major pest, the helicoverpa moth. Dr Gary Fitt
says a new variety of Bt cotton is about to hit the market, which should
reduce pesticide use even further. "With two-gene cotton, that reduction
will be even more dramatic; in fact around 80 per cent reduction compared
to conventional cotton. So growers are certainly saving a lot on
pesticide costs. The last few years has certainly seen growers getting an
economic benefit from Bt cotton. But I think the argument that's most
important is that the environment has been benefitting right from the
start, with much reduced pesticides."


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