The quantity of sold pesticides increased by 17%
According to Statistics Estonia, 752 tonnes of pesticides by active substance were placed on the market in Estonia in 2019. The majority were herbicides.
Herbicides accounted for 70%, fungicides for 14%, growth regulators for 10% and insecticides for 4% of the total quantity of pesticides sold. In 2019, there was an increase in the quantity of herbicides sold, and to a smaller extent in the quantities of insecticides and growth regulators. Sales of fungicides decreased.
According to Swen Peterson, analyst at Statistics Estonia, various herbicides have been the most sold plant protection products for years. “Last year, 531 tonnes of herbicides were sold, which is nearly a quarter more than in 2018. Sales did not, however, exceed 2016 quantities, when 604 tonnes were sold,” added Peterson.
Compared to other European Union countries, the quantities of pesticides placed on the market in Estonia are relatively small. For example, in 2018, the quantities of the three major types of pesticides sold were 79,000 tonnes in France, 61,000 tonnes in Spain and 42,000 tonnes in Germany. The sales of these three product categories in Estonia totalled 670 tonnes in 2019. The amounts of sold plant protection products per hectare of utilised agricultural area were 9 kg in Cyprus, 8 kg in Malta and 4 kg in the Netherlands in 2018, in contrast to 0.7 kg per hectare in Estonia in 2019.
Pesticides are used not only for agricultural purposes, but also in forestry, wood processing industry, road and railway maintenance, sports and playgrounds and parks. Some plant protection products can be bought by anyone for use in one’s garden.
Pesticides placed on the market are pesticides bought abroad and brought to Estonia for sales. Pesticides are used for weed, plant pest, parasite and insect control. The use of pesticides can fluctuate yearly depending on climate conditions and variability in plant damages and diseases.
Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data on the sales of pesticides for the Ministry of Rural Affairs, with the aim to obtain data on the environment in Estonia.