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Environment Sales of insecticides on the rise in Switzerland

A picture of a helicopter spraying pesticides onto crops

The market leader for plant protection products was sulphur, followed by paraffin oil, glyphosate and folpet.

(© KEYSTONE / ALESSANDRO DELLA VALLE)

While the total amount of pesticides sold in Switzerland remained virtually unchanged over the past decade, the sale of insecticides is outpacing that of herbicides.

Between 2008 and 2016, sales of herbicides and insecticides for the Swiss agriculture industry amounted to about 2,200 tonnes per year, according to figures published by the Federal Office for the Environmentexternal link in a press releaseexternal link on Tuesday.  

The market leader for plant protection products was sulphur, followed by paraffin oil, glyphosate and folpet.

Whilst the total sale of pesticide products remained about the same, there was a noticeable drop in sales for the controversial weed killer glyphosate, which brought down total herbicide sales by 27%.

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One of the reasons for this decline could be that farmers increasingly focus on mechanical weed control, the environmental authorities wrote.

In contrast, the sale of insecticides increased between 2008 and 2016. This could be down to the appearance of the cherry vinegar fly (rhagoletis cerasi) in Switzerland eight years ago, which can cause great damage to fruit crops, the government wrote.

SDA-ATS/ln

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