December 6, 2011


EU's triazole fungicides ban may affect Danish wheat yields



If EU bans the use of triazole fungicides, Danish wheat yields may drop by 5% resulting in a loss of EUR34 million (US$45.4 million).


A resounding drop in yield and a loss of income is what EU's wheat producers can expect if the EU goes ahead with the ban on the triazole fungicides.


This is the result of an investigation carried out by senior scientist Lise Nistrup Jørgensen from Aarhus University in collaboration with scientists from the UK and France.


A ban on the use of triazole fungicides can mean that it will have problems with the control of particularly Septoria in wheat in the future. There will be considerable losses if no replacements for the triazoles are found, particularly for Septoria, and the possibilities for implementing an anti-resistance strategy will be much weakened in all countries, points out Lise Nistrup Jørgensen.


EU is taking an interest in the triazoles because they are suspected of being endocrine disruptors. Officials in the EU are in the process of preparing specific guidelines for evaluations of endocrine disruptors and a number of pesticides are expected to be banned as a result.


As this is likely to affect a number of the azole fungicides, scientists in Denmark, United Kingdom and France have examined the potential consequences for the control of fungicides in wheat. And the ban will clearly lead to a reduction in yields.


In Denmark the expected yield reduction as a result of fungicidal infections - mainly of Septoria - will be 5% (252,258 t/year).


The disease Septoria relishes humid conditions and often causes the highest losses in areas with high rainfalls. The UK and France will thus experience considerably larger losses than Denmark. The yield reduction is expected to be 6.8% in the United Kingdom (1,006,808 t/year) and 8.7% in France (2,753,285 t/year).


In monetary terms, the total loss for wheat producers will be, respectively, EUR34 million (US$45.4 million), EUR157 million (US$209.9 million) and EUR408 million (US$545.3 million) in Denmark, the United Kingdom and France. The loss is mainly due to the expected problems with Septoria.

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