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Managing resistance to plant protection products

Pablo Bielza

Departamento de Producción Vegetal. Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Agronómica. Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena

Spanish Royal Decree 1311/2012, which transposes European Union Directive 2009/128/CE of the European Parliament and Council, sets the legal framework for sustainable use of plant protection products. Its purpose is to encourage responsible use of plant protection products and thus reduce human health risks and  environmental damage, as well as to promote integrated pest management (IPM). The aim of IPM is to produce healthy crops with a low impact on agroecosystems, and to promote biological pest control methods. Two of the eight general principles of IPM listed in Annex I [of the Spanish Royal Decree] address resistance: users should use plant protection products (PPPs) ensuring that "they do not increase the risk for development of resistance in populations of harmful organisms", and "available antiresistance strategies should be applied to maintain the effectiveness of the products".

Spanish Royal Decree 1311/2012, which transposes European Union Directive 2009/128/CE of the European Parliament and Council, sets the legal framework for sustainable use of plant protection products. Its purpose is to encourage responsible use of plant protection products and thus reduce human health risks and  environmental damage, as well as to promote integrated pest management (IPM). The aim of IPM is to produce healthy crops with a low impact on agroecosystems, and to promote biological pest control methods. Two of the eight general principles of IPM listed in Annex I [of the Spanish Royal Decree] address resistance: users should use plant protection products (PPPs) ensuring that "they do not increase the risk for development of resistance in populations of harmful organisms", and "available antiresistance strategies should be applied to maintain the effectiveness of the products". Thus, sustainable use of PPPs in the scope of IPM should be understood to be reliable and consistent over time. In-depth scientific knowledge of pesticide resistance is therefore essential: only with this knowledge can resistance management strategies be adopted to achieve the aims of the directive and implement effective IPM. IPM based on biological control agents has come to prevail in Mediterranean crops. However, while the relevant pest management protocols are based on biological control, they also still require the use of PPPs. The need for pesticide treatments varies according to agricultural area, crop, and season. Ensuring the compatibility of pesticides with biological control agents and pollinators is therefore crucial. This means choosing highly compatible products and/or keeping PPP applications to a bare minimum, particularly for the least compatible products. To minimize PPP treatments, it is vital to maintain pest susceptibility; in other words, to prevent the development of pesticide-resistant populations. A basic tool for effective management of resistance is alternate application of different active substances with different modes of action. If there are few registered active substances and even fewer of these are compatible with natural enemies and pollinators, the risk of developing resistance surges, and if  insecticides—especially ecocompatible ones—cease to be effective, then integrated control systems will be severely compromised. Ultimately, then, in order to maintain and enhance the effectiveness of IPM programs based on biological control methods, it is crucial to prevent development of pest resistance to PPPs, especially to those which are compatible with beneficial organisms.

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In accordance with the Organic Law on the Protection of Personal Data 15/1999, of 13 December, Promotora de Exportaciones Catalanas SA (hereinafter PRODECA), whose address is Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 620, principal, 08007 Barcelona, with tax reg. no. NIF A58241316, declares that the images contained on the website www.smartfruitcongress.cat are included in a file belonging to PRODECA. The purpose of this file is the promotion, via its website, of the activities conducted by PRODECA – SmartfFruit IPM International Congress.

PRODECA guarantees that you may, at any time, exercise your right to access, rectify, cancel or oppose by writing to the aforesaid postal address, using the reference "PROTECCIÓN DE DATOS - SMARTFRUIT", or to the email address smartfruitcongress@smartfruitcongress.cat.

Specifically, to correctly exercise these rights you must clearly provide the following items in that communication:
- Name, surname(s) and photocopy of National Identity Document or Passport.
- Statement of the purpose of the request.
- Address for notification purposes.
PRODECA also declares that it reserves the right to delete from its website any content that it considers violates current and applicable legislation.

D’acord amb l’article 17.1 de la Llei 19/2014, la ©Generalitat de Catalunya permet la reutilització dels continguts i de les dades sempre que se'n citi la font i la data d'actualització i que no es desnaturalitzi la informació (article 8 de la Llei 37/2007) i també que no es contradigui amb una llicència específica.