Fungicides accounted for more than half of pesticide use, by weight and area treated. The most widely used fungicides were myclobutanil, fenhexamid, potassium hydrogen bicarbonate, cyprodinil/fludioxonil and boscalid/pyraclostrobin.
Among insecticides, pyrethroids (principally lambda-cyhalothrin) were the most extensively used insecticides, followed by the organophosphates (chlorpyrifos only) and neonicotinoids (mainly thiacloprid). Metaldehyde remains the most widely used molluscicide, followed by ferric phosphate.
Biological controls accounted for just two per cent of pesticide use by treated area, with Bacillus subtilis the main fungicidal biopesticide recorded, and Beauveria bassiana ATCC-74040 the main insecticidal biopesticide.
The data were based on visits to 336 soft-fruit growers across the UK, accounting for 39 per cent of the total soft-fruit growing area - more than half of which is in the South East and West Midlands regions of England.