Freely available information on the actual use of chemical plant protection products (PPPs) in agriculture is highly necessary for a number of scientific questions and political discussions. Therefore, since 2000, regular surveys on the use of PPPs have been carried out for the most important agricultural and horticultural crops in Germany (NEPTUN projects). In 2011, they were adjusted to legal framework changes. Since then they are known as PAPA surveys with “PAPA” being an abbreviation for Panel Pesticide Applications. For each crop a network of farms was built up. In each network, the PPP application data are collected annually, anonymized and forwarded to the Julius Kühn-Institute (JKI).
All surveys and analyses based on the panel refer to the Federal Republic of Germany. The participating farms are distributed throughout Germany proportionally to the production area per crop.
In sugar beet cultivation the results of PAPA surveys show that the plant protection intensity has increased slightly in recent years comparing the PAPA results with the years 2005 to 2010. There are diverse reasons for this development. Difficult-to-control weeds occurred on an increasing acreage in recent years. At the same time, an early appearance of foliar diseases (approximately beginning of July) combined with warm and humid weather during the following weeks leads to the development of the main pathogen causing leaf spot diseases in sugar beet (Cercospora beticola) in many regions. A continuing development of leaf spots increases the need for repeated fungicide applications. A high infestation with aphids was the dominating reason for increased insecticide applications in some years. Additional influences on the treatment index are due to changes in the authorization of PPPs.