Management of environmental risk - 

SETAC MAgPIE drift mitigation toolbox 

The MAgPIE workshops aimed at building a toolbox of risk mitigation measures, for use in European countries to accompany pesticide registration for the specific uses of products for which a potential risk of environmental nature has been identified. The toolbox was built based on feedback and expertise contribution collected in the European member states, i.e. based on practical experience gained in the implementation of risk mitigation measures.  The workshop then ranked the measures identified during the inventory, using 1) the scientific evidence of their effectiveness at actually mitigating a risk, 2) the technical and financial practicality of the measure to the farmer, 3) the easiness to implement and rely upon, for authorities and regulators and 4) the possibility to be accounted for in risk assessments.

The drift mitigation options proposed within SETAC MAgPIE generally fall into two categories;

  • Direct mitigation measures designed to reduce drift at source, typically by avoidance of generation of smaller droplets or through more effectively targetted application  – also known as „spray drift reduction technology“

  • Indirect mitigation measures designed to reduce droplets reaching sensitive non-target environments – also known as „no spray zones“ or „buffer zones“

These options are detailed below.

Table 1 - Mitigation toolbox - SETAC MAGPIE 

Management of environmental risk

The MAgPIE workshop proceedings  

The SETAC MAgPIE proceedings can be downloaded for free at:

https://www.setac.org/magpie

The MAgPIE workshop proceedings provide technical illustration on the implementation of each of these measures, into the form of Risk Mitigation Measure Technical Sheet (RMMTS).  As agreed by the experts, the toolbox is to be seen and used as a living resource, which will be improved and updated on the basis of the experience gained in their implementation.  Meanwhile the benefits that these tools may provide towards an increased safety of application of agricultural pesticides was perceived as an incentive to further promote their implementation, and to initiate data gathering on their effectiveness in a variety of situations.  The proceedings of the MAgPIE workshop also provide advice on how to measure and account for the effectiveness of the proposed tools in the field and during risk assessments. 

Discussions in the workshop considered the following criteria for each tool:

  • Efficacy of the tool to appropriately mitigate risks

  • Regulatory and legal aspects relevant to the tool. This criterion considers for example the legal status of the risk mitigation tool in the countries where it is implemented. This criterion also considers the possibility to take the risk mitigation measure into account in the risk assessment process

  • Implementation aspects, particularly with regards to the acceptability of the tool to farmers

 

The table below is a reproduction of Table 4.12 from the MAgPIE proceedings and lists the mitigation measures identified at Member State level for different groups of species of concern, and characterises their level of practicality, effectiveness, and enforceability. Based on the expert judgement of the workshop participants, the risk mitigation measures identified were ranked, as explained in the introduction.

In this overview of the risk mitigation measures (RMM) suitable to reduce impact of spray drift individual techniques are allocated into the following categories:

  • Buffer Zones (BZ) aimed at reducing exposure of off-crop area via spray drift

  • Spray Drift Reduction Technologies (SDRT), which involve any technology associated with sprayers, nozzles, or spraying techniques that will reduce drift,

  • Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), which relate to product application (dose and application regime).

It is noted that the measures summarized here are limited to those that would be primarily developed to manage spray drift. Other measures considered in MAgPIE may have a complementary benefit in reducing spray drift and associated impacts (e.g., vegetated buffer strips, multi-functional field margins), but are not discussed here.

Table 4.1.2 Overview of the risk mitigation measures (RMM) suitable to reduce impact of spray drift. RMM are allocated into the following categories: Buffer Zones (BZ) aimed at reducing exposure of off-crop area via spray drift, Spray Drift Reduction Technologies (SDRT), which involve any technology associated with sprayers, nozzles, or spraying techniques that will reduce drift, and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), which relate to product application (dose and application regime). Note that mitigation measures associated with field margin management may have a complementary spray drift reduction benefit but are discussed in Chapter 7. The corresponding Risk Mitigation Measure Technical Sheets (RMMTS) are listed in the last column together with their location in the proceedings.

  1. Not to be promoted

  2. Under development

  3. Needs consolidation/research

  4. Promising tool implemented in some Member States

  5. Well established tool implemented in most Member States.

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