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Strictly regulated

Factual information about plant protection in apple cultivation

Apple cultivation depends on the vagaries of nature and weather because the climatic conditions influence the spread of pests and diseases. The use of pesticides is thus a necessary measure in professional cultivation, which ensures the existence of many farming families in Val Venosta, as the producers have to protect their plants and to avoid harvest losses.

Which pesticides are allowed?

Pesticides have to effectively control pests and diseases without affecting the plants. Moreover, they must not have any negative effects on humans, animals and the environment with proper use. Only pesticides that are scientifically tested and officially approved are used in fruit production. Pesticides are only approved in the EU if they are actually required due to the occurrence of pests.

Are the same pesticides used within the EU?

As climatic conditions and thus the occurrence of pests and diseases differ in the various regions, there are different plant protection requirements. Europe is divided into three areas for the approval of pesticides: north, center and south. Every nation independently decides on the national authorization by taking the national agricultural and ecological characteristics into consideration. This is why other pesticides are allowed in Italy than in Germany, for example.

Less is more

Numerous regulations reduce the use of pesticides to a minimum in South Tyrol. “As little as possible” is the motto of fruit producers in Val Venosta. This is why the producers only use pesticides if it is absolutely necessary and if considerable damage to fruits or trees is expected. Moreover, additional legal provisions regulating the application of pesticides near public and inhabited areas apply in South Tyrol. A reduction of pesticides is also in the very own interest of the apple producers, as the use of pesticides is both very expensive and time-consuming. In addition, they want to offer healthy products and not to pollute the environment.
Integrated production (AGRIOS) was introduced in South Tyrol.
of producers in Val Venosta practice organic farming.
of plant protection treatments are used to control fungal diseases.

Strict guidelines in integrated production

82% of apple producers in Val Venosta produce according to the AGRIOS guidelines of integrated production and thus promote a natural and sustainable agriculture. The balance between useful insects and pests is very important in plant protection. The use of organic and chemical-synthetic pesticides is the last resort and is subject to strict guidelines. If possible, the producers only use pesticides that do not harm useful insects and other animals, that have a low environmental impact and leave few residues. It is important to alternate the substances used to avoid the development of resistances.

Please visit www.agrios.it for more information.

Strict guidelines in organic production

18% of apple producers in Val Venosta produce according to the guidelines of organic or organic-dynamic production. Val Venosta’s organic producers comply with the guidelines of the Bioland or Demeter associations that are much stricter than EU standards. Only natural substances with a generally lower efficiency are allowed for plant protection in organic production. This is why organic producers give much importance to having robust plants, very fertile soil and many useful insects in their orchards.

Comprehensive independent controls

In professional cultivation, every single plant protection measure has to be recorded in the farm’s orchard register which is checked by an independent control body. In order to be able to work with pesticides, the producers need a special training including a certificate of competency and have to attend training courses for its renewal. This allows them to always be up to date. Fruit from Val Venosta is regularly checked by different farming associations, authorities, consumer organizations and clients.

Alternatives to glyphosate

Much discussed glyphosate only plays a minor role in fruit cultivation. In the orchards, this herbicide is only applied at ground level on the tree strip, if at all. So the substance never comes into contact with the fruits. More and more producers in Val Venosta use alternative methods instead of glyphosate: They remove the weeds with special machines and voluntarily do without herbicides. However, time-consuming mechanical weed control is not possible everywhere due to the steep slope positions of some orchards.

More information about herbicide-free cultivation in Val Venosta!

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