Reducing Pesticides and Boosting Harvests


Farmers use plant protection products like herbicides, fungicides, insecticides or plant growth regulators to protect crops against pests and diseases. But in vineyards across Europe, heavy pesticide use poses risks to both crops and the environment.

Scientists in Northern Italy are pioneering a new way to manage these pests. They’re using innovative techniques like pheromone mating disruption to confuse pests like the European grape berry moth, reducing mating and offspring.

Meanwhile in Central Italy near Pisa, researchers from the QuESSA project are exploring how natural habitats next to mass-flowering fields can enhance crop pollination. They are investigating the role of natural pollinators in sunflower fields. By observing and manipulating pollination, they aim to maximise yield quality.

These initiatives highlight a shift towards sustainable agriculture, where science mimics nature to minimise pesticide usage and enhance harvests. The projects were competed in 2017 after extensive field trials and commercial evaluations. Now the goal of zero pesticides and optimised pollination is within reach, promising healthier crops and ecosystems for future generations.


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