Pesticide management in Scottish spring barley – insights from sowing dates

Cairistiona Topp


Better management of pesticides is a potentially important strategy for reducing environmental impact while maintaining yields.  Pesticide use is influenced by several drivers, including sowing date, which can directly impact disease burden.  Analysis of sowing dates for spring barley was the first stage of this project, which aims to provide insight into areas of farm management which can be optimised to reduce environmental impact.  Sowing dates were taken from the Adopt a Crop database, which contains data from 1983 onwards for commercial farms across Scotland.  Work was carried out at three levels: national, to provide an overall picture of historical patterns; regional, to highlight differences within Scotland; and case study, to determine whether the national trend was visible in a single region.  A general trend towards later sowing of spring barley in Scotland is visible – yet, this pattern is less pronounced in certain regions.  Future work must therefore consider what factors have lead to this shift, to more fully understand interactions between sowing date and the environment.


Authors: Stacia Stetkiewicz1,2, Fiona Burnett1, Cairistiona Topp1, Richard Ennos2

Affiliations: 1Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), 2University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3JG, UK

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