Please make your choice below

The Pesticide Selection Tool

Pesticides are needed to control pests and diseases in agriculture. Pesticides generally are highly specific and require dedicated knowledge of the user to safeguard effective and responsible application in a crop to control a specific pest or disease (or weed). Pesticides possess a range of properties with varying modes of action, toxicity, environmental effect, food safety risk, etcetera. Some pesticides can be regarded as more favourable than others, given a certain context. In some cases Product A can be considered more positive to use, compared to Product B. It is important for advisors, farmers, traders, agro shops, consumers and policy makers to be aware of the efficacy and further advantages and disadvantages of the available pesticides in a country.

The Pesticide Selection Tool (PST) can be used to formulate recommendations for farmers, to assist farmers and sector professionals to make the right choices and to select products which actually provide the best result for the most favourable price and respecting environmental impact, the build-up of resistance and safety for the user and the consumer.

In the PST a range of different pest and diseases can be selected by clicking on the boxes “Pest” or “Disease” (Table 1). For example the PST can be used to determine the most favourable pesticides to control the insect pest “thrips”. After selecting the pest “thrips” all pesticides registered that can effectively control thrips are listed. This list can be filtered by criteria “minimal WHO-class” which is an indication for the toxicity of the pesticide active ingredients* (Table 2), and for “Minimal Efficacy” (adequate or good). In this way the most effective active ingredients can be selected with the most favourable profile regarding toxicity. By clicking on the active ingredient all Brand names of products registered with contains this active ingredient will be listed. The information provided on the Mode of Action (MoA) makes it possible to design control strategies in which pesticides of different Mode of Action groups are alternated to prevent the development of resistance of a pest/disease to pesticides. In this way the PST provides hands-on information to safeguard Human Health of the growers applying the pesticides and the workers in the fields. Also the consumer safety (less toxic residues on vegetables) and (in the future version) the environment will profit from the use of the PST.

* Some actives are marked with , highly hazardous pesticides, defined by the FAO/WHO Joint Meeting on Pesticide Management in their 2nd session in October 2008 as having one or more of the following characteristics:

 

  • Pesticide formulations that meet the criteria of classes Ia or Ib of the WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard;
    or
  • Pesticide active ingredients and their formulations that meet the criteria of carcinogenicity Categories 1A and 1B of the Globally Harmonized System on Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS);
    or
  • Pesticide active ingredients and their formulations that meet the criteria of mutagenicity Categories 1A and 1B of the Globally Harmonized System on Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS);
    or
  • Pesticide active ingredients and their formulations that meet the criteria of reproductive toxicity Categories 1A and 1B of the Globally Harmonized System on Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS);
    or
  • Pesticide active ingredients listed by the Stockholm Convention in its Annexes A and B, and those meeting all the criteria in paragraph 1 of annex D of the Convention;
    or
  • Pesticide active ingredients and formulations listed by the Rotterdam Convention in its Annex III;
    or
  • Pesticides listed under the Montreal Protocol;
    or
  • Pesticide active ingredients and formulations that have shown a high incidence of severe or irreversible adverse effects on human health or the environment.

 

Table 1. Pests and diseases that can be selected in the PST

 

PESTS

DISEASES

Aphids (Hemiptera)

Downy mildew, Pythium (Oomycetes)

White flies (Hemiptera)

Powdery mildew (Ascomycetes)

Hoppers (Hemiptera)

Botrytis (Ascomycetes)

Weevils (Coleoptera)

Alternaria (Ascomycetes)

Thrips (Thysanoptera)

Sclerotinia (Ascomycetes)

Flies, fruit-flies, miners (Diptera)

Fusarium (Ascomycetes)

Aphids, white flies, hoppers, bugs, cicadas (Hemiptera)

Anthracnose (Ascomycetes, Deuteromycetes)

Caterpillars, butter flies, moths, miners (Lepidoptera)

Rusts, smut (Basidiomycetes)

Grubs, soil insects (Insecta)

 

Nematodes (Nematoda)

 

Mites (Arachnida)

 

Snails, slugs (Gastropoda)

 

 

Table 2. WHO classes for acute toxicity of the pesticide active ingredients

 

WHO Class

 

LD50 for the rat (mg/kg body weight)

 

 

Oral

Dermal

Ia

Extremely hazardous

<5

<50

Ib

Highly hazardous

5-50

50-200

II

Moderately hazardous

50-2000

200-2000

III

Slightly hazardous

Over 2000

Over 2000

U

Unlikely to present acute hazard

5000 or higher

 

Wageningen plant research