Sales of herbicides were again the highest last year

Posted on 11 June 2021, 8:00

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2020, 784 tonnes of pesticides by active substance were placed on the market in Estonia. The majority of these pesticides were herbicides, while the sales of fungicides and growth regulators were the highest of the last decade.

Herbicides accounted for 65%, fungicides for 18%, growth regulators for 14% and insecticides for 2% of the total amount of pesticides sold last year. Compared to 2019, the sold quantities of fungicides and growth regulators increased by a third. The sales of insecticides fell by a half, and there was also a small decrease in the quantity of herbicides sold.

Swen Peterson, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that the sales of pesticides grew in the last two years. “For years, various herbicides have been the most sold plant protection products. In 2020, the sales of herbicides totalled 510 tonnes, which is nearly the same as in 2019. Still, the amount of herbicides placed on the market last year did not reach the level of 2016 when over 600 tonnes of herbicides were sold,” added Peterson.

Sales of pesticides, 2011–2020

In 2020, agricultural enterprises used 611 tonnes of pesticides, including 338 tonnes of herbicides, 134 tonnes of fungicides and 127 tonnes of growth regulators. The pesticides were primarily used to treat cereals and industrial crops. 11 tonnes of insecticides were used, mainly to treat industrial crops.

Use of pesticides in agricultural enterprises by crop in 2020, tonnes
  Fungicides Insecticides Herbicides Plant growth regulators Molluscicides Total
Cereals 104.1 1.6 198.4 121.6 0.0 425.7
Industrial crops 21.1 8.0 65.9 5.8 0.8 101.6
Legumes 1.7 0.8 48.2 0.0 0.0 50.8
Forage crops 0.0 0.0 21.7 0.0 0.0 21.8
Potatoes 6.5 0.0 0.7 0.0 0.0 7.2
Other crops 0.9 0.1 3.5 0.0 0.0 4.5
Total 134.4 10.5 338.3 127.4 0.9 611.5

Pesticides are used not only for agricultural purposes but also in forestry, wood processing industry, road and railway maintenance, sports grounds and playgrounds, and parks. Some pesticides can be bought by anyone for use in home gardens.

Pesticides placed on the market are pesticides bought abroad and brought to Estonia for sale. The data on pesticides cover use of pesticides by agricultural enterprises in crop cultivation and the basic area treated. Pesticides are used for weed, plant pest, parasite and insect control. The sales and use of pesticides can fluctuate from year to year depending on climate conditions and variability in plant damages and diseases.

Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data on the sales and use of pesticides for the Ministry of Rural Affairs, with the aim to obtain data on the environment in Estonia.

See also the environment and agriculture and environment sections on our website.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.


For further information:

Kadri Kütt
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181

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