Effects of disease control by fungicides on greenhouse gas emissions by UK arable crop production

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Hughes, D. J., West, J. S., Atkins, S. D., Gladders, P., Jeger, M. J. and Fitt, B. D. L. 2011. Effects of disease control by fungicides on greenhouse gas emissions by UK arable crop production. Pest Management Science. 67 (9), pp. 1082-1092.

AuthorsHughes, D. J., West, J. S., Atkins, S. D., Gladders, P., Jeger, M. J. and Fitt, B. D. L.
Abstract

BACKGROUND: The UK government has published plans to reduce UK agriculture's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. At the same time, the goal of global food security requires an increase in arable crop yields. Foliar disease control measures such as fungicides have an important role in meeting both objectives. RESULTS: It is estimated that UK winter barley production is associated with GHG emissions of 2770 kg CO(2) eq. ha(-1) of crop and 355 kg CO(2) eq. t(-1) of grain. Foliar disease control by fungicides is associated with decreases in GHG emissions of 42-60 kg CO(2) eq. t(-1) in UK winter barley and 29-39 kg CO(2) eq. t(-1) in UK spring barley. The sensitivity of these results to the impact of disease control on yield and to variant GHG emissions assumptions is presented. Fungicide treatment of the major UK arable crops is estimated to have directly decreased UK GHG emissions by over 1.5 Mt CO(2) eq. in 2009. CONCLUSION: Crop disease control measures such as fungicide treatment reduce the GHG emissions associated with producing a tonne of grain. As national demand for food increases, greater yields as a result of disease control also decrease the need to convert land from non-arable to arable use, which further mitigates GHG emissions. (C) 2011 Society of Chemical Industry

KeywordsAgronomy; Entomology
Year of Publication2011
JournalPest Management Science
Journal citation67 (9), pp. 1082-1092
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1002/ps.2151
PubMed ID21495152
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Bayer
DEFRA - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs UK
HGCA - Home Grown Cereals Authority
Funder project or codeBCC
PublisherWiley
Grant IDLK09111
BB/D015200/1
RD-2004-3099
ISSN1526-498X

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