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Decision Support Systems

Results from analyses of existing European DSS Access to existing DSS New European DSS EU regulation and DSS

EU regulation and DSS

According to:

Directive 2009/128/EC of the European Parliament and to the Council of 21 October 2009, establishing a framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides,

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) must be implemented in all EU member states by year 2014. In the following, identified wording in this directive that could relate to existing DSS, has been marked in bold.

Article 14 says:

  1. Member States shall take all necessary measure to promote low pesticide-input pest management, giving wherever possible priority to non-chemical methods...
  2. Member States shall establish or support the establishment of necessary conditions for the implementation of integrated pest management. In particular, they shall ensure that professional users have at their disposal information and tools for pest monitoring and decision making, as well as advisory services on integrated pest management.

In Annex III General principles of integrated pest management are provided. In conclusion, the content of article 14 and Annex III of the new directive indicate that DSS may play a role in the implementation of this directive.


General principles of integrated pest management

  1. The prevention and/or suppression of harmful organisms should be achieved or supported among other options especially by:
    crop rotation,
    1. use of adequate cultivation techniques (e.g. stale seedbed technique, sowing dates and densities, under-sowing, conservation tillage, pruning and direct sowing),
    2. use, where appropriate, of resistant/tolerant cultivars and standard/certified seed and planting material,
    3. use of balanced fertilisation, liming and irrigation/drainage practices,
    4. preventing the spreading of harmful organisms by hygiene measures (e.g. by regular cleansing of machinery and equipment),
    5. protection and enhancement of important beneficial organisms, e.g. by adequate plant protection measures or the utilisation of ecological infrastructures inside and outside production sites.

  2. Harmful organisms must be monitored by adequate methods and tools, where available. Such adequate tools should include observations in the field as well as scientifically sound warning, forecasting and early diagnosis systems, where feasible, as well as the use of advice from professionally qualified advisors.

  3. Based on the results of the monitoring the professional user has to decide whether and when to apply plant protection measures. Robust and scientifically sound threshold values are essential components for decision making. For harmful organisms threshold levels defined for the region, specific areas, crops and particular climatic conditions must be taken into account before treatments, where feasible.

  4. Sustainable biological, physical and other non-chemical methods must be preferred to chemical methods if they provide satisfactory pest control.

  5. The pesticides applied shall be as specific as possible for the target and shall have the least side effects on human health, non-target organisms and the environment.

  6. The professional user should keep the use of pesticides and other forms of intervention to levels that are necessary, e.g. by reduced doses, reduced application frequency or partial applications, considering that the level of risk in vegetation is acceptable and they do not increase the risk for development of resistance in populations of harmful organisms.

  7. Where the risk of resistance against a plant protection measure is known and where the level of harmful organisms requires repeated application of pesticides to the crops, available anti-resistance strategies should be applied to maintain the effectiveness of the products. This may include the use of multiple pesticides with different modes of action.

  8. Based on the records on the use of pesticides and on the monitoring of harmful organisms the professional user should check the success of the applied plant protection measures.
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