Challenges Associated with Farm Pesticides & Fertilizer Use in Watershed and Coastal Farming Areas. Two categories of water pollution:

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1 Challenges Associated with Farm Pesticides & Fertilizer Use in Watershed and Coastal Farming Areas National Workshop on Land-Based Sources of Marine Pollution (January 15 16, 2008) Mr. P. Chung, Director Mrs. M. Young, Senior Plant Health Specialist Technology, Training & Technical Information Division, Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) Two categories of water pollution: Point source occurs when harmful substances are emitted directly into a body of water (usually monitored and regulated ) Nonpoint source delivers pollutants indirectly through transport or environmental change ( (difficult difficult to monitor and control) NEGATIVE IMPACTS Various farming activities result in the erosion of soil particles. The sediment produced by erosion can damage fish habitat and wetlands and Contaminated runoff affects changes to aquatic habitat such as temperature increases and decreased oxygen (dead( zones) Agricultural Chemical Groups Inorganics Botanicals Organophosphorus compounds Organochlorines Carbamates Pyrethroids Biologicals Ureas EXAMPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL FATE OF SOME PESTICIDES Persistence in aquatic environment: Imazaquin (5.5 mths), endosulfan (1d), metolachlor (97-200d), terbutryn d), bromacil (60d), benomyl (<1d), trifluralin (v. long), ethoprophos ( d), paraquat (161d) Persistence in soil and groundwater: Imazalil (150d), atrazine (60-100d), bromacil (60-240d), paraquat ( mths), trifluralin (90-180d), endosulfan (50d) Effects of Coastal Pollution ECOLOGICAL EFFECTS: Death of coral reefs Biodiversity of species ECONOMICAL IMPACT: Tourism sector IMPACT ON DIET: Decrease in consumption of sea food protein 1

2 Impacts on water quality by pesticides are associated with the following factors: Active ingredients in the pesticide formulation Contaminants / impurities in the active ingredient Additives (wetting agents, diluents or solvents, extenders, adhesives, buffers, preservatives and emulsifiers) Degradate that is formed during chemical, microbial or photochemical degradation of the active ingredient What Are the Sources of Agriculture-Related Nonpoint Source Pollution? Nutrients in form of chemical fertilizers and manure from animal facilities (particularly nitrogen and phosphorus); Return flows, runoff, and leachate from irrigated lands may transport sediment, nutrients, salts, and other materials. Improper grazing practices can cause water quality degradation. Pesticides, and salts. PESTICIDE MANAGEMENT Reducing pesticide use (crop IPM/ ICM applications) Use environmentally friendly pesticides (role of PCA) PESTICIDE MANAGEMENT Preventing backflow of pesticides into water supplies (proper drainage and prevention of soil erosion) Safe & Effective Use (through trainings): timing of application dose rate spray volume, good coverage calibration of pesticide spray equipment Proper disposal (IPM) Strategies IPM strategies include evaluating current pest problems in relation to: the cropping history previous pest control measures applying pesticides only based on economic thresholds Pesticides should be selected based on consideration of their environmental impacts (persistence, toxicity, and leaching potential). Irrigation /Chemigation/ Promotes an effective irrigation system that delivers necessary quantities of water Reduces nonpoint pollution to surface waters and groundwater Requires uniform application of water based on an accurate measurement of crop water needs and the volume of irrigation water applied 2

3 The training of farmers is an ongoing exercise through RADA and other stakeholders ( (pesticides dealers, commodity boards etc.) There is a significant gap between best practice and existing cultural practices as it relates to land husbandry (soil conservation), use of fertilizers and pesticides What are the challenges? CHALLENGES: BUDGET Over the past 15 years there has been a drastic reduction in extension personnel, culminating in a present farmer : field staff ratio of some 1600:1 (AEO) Budgetary constraints also limit such resources as training equipment and materials, field travel and demonstration plot inputs CHALLENGES: ADOPTING OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES Description Literacy rate Physical Infrastructure Land resources Ability to attract investments Small farmers BOTH SUSPECIOUS IN GENERAL LOW (less likely to adopt changes & fatalistic) LUCKING CONFINED TO SMALL PARCEL OF LAND (difficult to rotate crops; accumulation of pests) LOW Med. To Large MORE EDUCATED (more likely to accept changes) MORE RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE LAND IS USUALLY AVAILBLE (allow better crop rotation and management) BETTER CHALLENGES: TRADITIONAL APPROACH IN USE OF PESTICIDE Commercial crop farmers invariably rely primarily on synthetic pesticides and fertilizers in their production systems Pesticides are applied in a typical calendar-based system, which is very costly both economically and ecologically CHALLENGES: Luck of knowledge in safe & effective use of pesticides (dose rate, volume rate, coverage, choice of spray nozzles, mixing and application techniques) Poor pesticide / container disposal practices Inadequate soil conservation and erosion prevention practices (land husbandry) 3

4 CHALLENGES: TRAINING METHODS RADA extension work is based on a group approach However, the traditional top-down system of information delivery is still the norm; In general, the low levels of adoption of technologies introduced by extension services CHALLENGES: RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT Research into non-pesticide pest management options remains minimal Specific recommendations for farmers are often based on long-held, pesticides- dependent information rather than the less well-known and un-validated non-pesticide alternatives. OTHER CHALLENGES A number of agencies also offer pest management information to farmers independent of each other. Given differing agency perspectives and objectives, this sometimes results in conflicting or confusing messages sent. ADVANTAGES (Jamaica) Registration of pesticides by PCA Close collaboration of stakeholders NEPA (Environmental Policies & Monitoring) Existence of well distributed Extension Services / Research & Development input RADA carries regular pesticide / pest surveillance IPM/ICM developed & used on several crops (banana, coffee, citrus, sweet potato, callaloo..) OBJECTIVE: To reduce and minimize coastal pollution due to undesirable agricultural practices. THROUGH ON-GOING TRAINING To empower small and medium-scale farmers operating in watershed areas to practice ecologically-based crop/pest management 4

5 Increase farmers understanding of the routes by which pollutants get into water. They will need to learn new skills and approaches to reduce these emissions. Investing in farm infrastructure (dirty water storage), improving soil management, and using manures, fertilizers and pesticides in ways that increase efficiency but reduce emissions. Select and prioritize training locations based on the risk-level rankings of watershed areas for pesticides load of those compounds most notably injurious to the coastal marine environment Develop a trainers manual on IPM, with specific reference to ecologically-safe pesticides management in watershed areas. Encourage GAPs /Pesticide Traceability Extensions should adopt participatory approach in farmer training (Farmer( School proven to be effective) Conduct periodic evaluation of farmer knowledge and practice in ecologically- safe pesticides use and follow up impact assessment of pesticides contamination of the associated coastal marine ecosystem Closer collaboration of Research, Extension & other stakeholders in identifying priorities and sharing resources Promotion of product stewardship the responsible and ethical management of a pesticide product from its discovery through to its ultimate use and beyond (PCA & external markets play important roles) Pesticides container collection & disposal mechanism in place Organo-chloride pesticide search, retrieval and disposal programme established In the end we retain from our studies only that which we practically apply Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe 5

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