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Using crop diversity to lower pesticide use: Socio-ecological approaches

Abstract : The farming practices adopted since the end of the Second World War, based on large areas of monocultures and chemical use, have adversely affected the health of farmers and consumers and dramatically reduced farmland biodiversity. As a consequence, many studies over more than twenty years have stated that agriculture is facing three main challenges: (1) feeding the growing world population (2) with more environmentally friendly products (3) at a reasonable return for the producer. Increasing the efficacy of biocontrol could be one lever for agriculture to meet these expectations. In this study we propose implementation of a relatively under-researched system based on the management of landscape level crop diversity that would reduce demand for pesticide use and increase conservation biocontrol. The principle of manipulating crop diversity over space and time at a landscape scale is to optimize resource continuity, such as food and shelter for natural enemies to increase biocontrol services, reduce pest outbreaks and crop losses. The feasibility of such management options is discussed in relation to environmental, social and economic aspects. The operational and institutional inputs and conditions needed to make the system work are explored, as well as the potential added values of such a system for different stakeholders.
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Submitted on : Monday, October 11, 2021 - 9:25:02 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 12, 2021 - 3:35:23 AM

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Eva Thomine, John Mumford, Adrien Rusch, Nicolas Desneux. Using crop diversity to lower pesticide use: Socio-ecological approaches. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2022, 804, pp.1-12. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150156⟩. ⟨hal-03372694⟩

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