China aims to cut pesticide applications
China plans to reduce the number of chemical pesticide applications on cash crops such as cotton, fruits and vegetables by 20% over the next five years, reports the country's Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry has also stated that by the end of the country's twelfth five-year plan in 2015, “standardised crop pest prevention teams” should number over 20,000, covering 66.7 million ha of farmland. Some 30% of staple grain crops, and 15% of cotton, fruit and vegetable crops, should be covered by “professional pest prevention”, whereas the “main producing regions” of rice and wheat, as well as crop pest source areas, should be under total coverage, the Ministry adds. The China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation last month issued guidelines stating that by 2015, “high-efficacy, safe, economic and environmentally friendly pesticide products” should account for over half of the country’s pesticide production ( Agrow No 617, p 20).