All farmers must take environmental concerns into account when making pest management plans. SYNOPS WEB Norway is a map-based modeling tool for assessing the risk of crop protection strategies. Using this tool, the farmer can also see which measures will be most effective and document their assessments.
Norway’s Regulations Concerning Pesticides require users to take into account the risk of unintended environmental effects. In integrated pest management, there is also a general requirement to choose products and methods that present the lowest possible risk to health and the environment. All professional farmers must justify and document the choices they make in a special pest management journal.
In the new tool, SYNOPS WEB Norway, these choices are now brought together.
“Here, the environmental impact of protection measures can be assessed along with site-specific information about soil and weather conditions and the characteristics of pest management products, for example degradation, sorption and transport in the soil,” explains Marianne Stenrød, department head at NIBIO.
This way, several different crop protection strategies can be compared, making it possible to choose the strategy with the lowest possible environmental risk.
The tool’s model simulations make it possible to assess the effect of different measures to reduce the spread of plant protection products in the environment. Measures for reducing surface runoff, such as reduced tillage and vegetation zones, and measures for reducing drift can be simulated.
Because SYNOPS WEB Norway is linked to other data sources, the tool also provides useful information about topography, soil type and soil properties. This is important for identifying areas subject to surface runoff and calculating the distance to open water, which is critical to environmental risk in terms of pesticide drifting.
Norway has implemented EU´s Directive on sustainable use of pesticides (2009/128/EC) which promotes the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and alternative approaches or techniques (IPM tools) to minimize pesticide use. There is a lack, however, of proven and practical IPM tools for farmers to use, as well as a relevant policy for a successful implementation of IPM.