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Old 20-09-2003, 02:32 PM
David Kendra
 
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Default PESTICIDE FREE PRODUCTION OF FIELD CROPS: RESULTS OF AN ON-FARM PILOT PROJECT

PESTICIDE FREE PRODUCTION OF FIELD CROPS: RESULTS OF AN ON-FARM PILOT
PROJECT
November 18, 2002
Agronomy Journal 95:1262 * 1273
Orla M. Nazarko, Rene C. Van Acker*, Martin H. Entz, Allison Schoofs and
Gary Martens
Dep. of Plant Sci., Univ. of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2N2
* Corresponding author ).
ABSTRACT
Existing strategies for pesticide use reduction in the northern Great Plains
have suffered from limited adoption. A novel approach, Pesticide Free
Production (PFP), was recently developed in Manitoba, Canada. A
participatory, on-farm study was conducted to assess the potential of PFP to
be implemented on typical farms and the level of success farmers experienced
with PFP. Pesticide Free Production prohibits the use of in-crop pesticide
and seed treatments during one crop year as well as prior use of residual
pesticides. Synthetic fertilizer use is permitted, as are pre-emergent
applications of nonresidual pesticides. A total of 71 farmers, representing
120 fields and 11 crops, participated in the study. Fields and farmers were
grouped based on whether or not fields (i) achieved PFP certification and
(ii) were in transition to organic production. Certification was achieved
for 83% of the participating area. Spring cereals were the most likely crops
to achieve PFP certification. Yields in all groups were slightly lower than
conventional averages in Manitoba but were not significantly different among
groups. Weed densities were higher (P = 0.065) in noncertifiable fields than
in certifiable fields. Most farmers reported manageable weed densities in
the year following PFP. Soil conservation practices were used on a high
proportion of PFP fields. Management practices associated with PFP included
the use of delayed seeding, forages in rotation, and increased seeding
rates. Agronomic and demographic characteristics of participating fields and
farmers were typical for Manitoba. Pesticide Free Production demonstrates
considerable potential to be successfully adopted by mainstream farmers.




 
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