Spanish fruit/veg region sustainable use compliant
Regional state researchers have hailed fruit and vegetable growers in the Spanish region of Murcia for falling levels of illegal pesticide residues, newswire agrodigital reports. The director of the public body, the agrarian training and nutrition industry directorate general, Angel Garcia Lidon, says that the region is at the vanguard in adopting sustainable pesticide strategies. Some 98.5% of samples taken in 2012 showed residues below maximum residue limits (MRLs). That puts the region ahead of the average at national and EU levels, he notes. Mr Lidon adds that 70% of pesticide products have been made unavailable since 2006, while growers are applying products in an increasingly responsible manner. There has also been a move towards biological controls in the period, with the laying of 6 million traps, and release of 300 million beneficial insects on a trial basis across 36,000 ha of fruit and vegetables. Some 60% of the region fulfils EU sustainable use Directive (2009/128) rules that will come into force next year, while the rest of the area is considered to be of “low-risk crops for pesticide use”.