Research shows that the level of resistance to pesticides in Norwegian agriculture is higher than previously assumed. This requires farmers to rely on alternative and integrated plant protection strategies to a greater extent to prevent resistance.
So far, pesticide resistance has been detected in around 30 important plant diseases, pests and weeds in Norway. The industry is continually reporting new suspected incidences of resistance, and there are fewer approved pesticides due to harmful side effects to the environment and humans. Furthermore, very few new chemical agents are being developed. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the chemical agents that are still available and remain effective when others are ineffective.
In the RESISTOPP project, researchers at NIBIO have looked at pesticide resistance under Norwegian climatic conditions. The results of the project show, that Norwegian agriculture has a bigger problem with resistance than previously assumed.
“It’s not just about resistance to individual compounds, but we have examples of fungi that are resistant to up to five or six different chemical groups,” explains Arne Stensvand, Head of RESISTOPP.
Other aims in the project have been to obtain more knowledge about good anti-resistance strategies, and knowledge about survival and adaptation of the resistant fungal strains, pests and weeds.
NIBIO has collaborated with the Norwegian Agricultural Extension Service, amongst other things to examine the prevalence of resistance in the grey mould fungus in Norwegian and foreign strawberry transplants. They discovered grey mould resistance in both, and some samples had 100 per cent resistance to several pesticides.
The researchers have also detected resistance to several so-called low-dose agents against eight different species of weeds.
Stensvand says that researchers, advisers and farmers stand united in their desire for a new development. Using pesticides is the final straw.