Plant protection

Agrophage control

The basic prerequisite for the use of chemical preparations is that other methods of protection cannot be used and pathogens are found in excess of the economic harmfulness threshold.

In order to limit the number of treatments and the amount of chemicals applied to the minimum necessary, it is necessary to select the correct protection product and its dosage, to plan the timing of the treatment and to adapt the application technique to the prevailing weather conditions. Preparations should be selected so that their application has as little impact as possible on non-target organisms, in particular pollinating insects and natural enemies of harmful organisms. To counteract the development of resistance of agrophages to plant protection products, preparations with different mechanisms of action should be used.

For chemical treatments, choose agents designed to control a specific pest on a particular crop. Agents should be applied at the appropriate stage of development of the plant and target object for optimum effect.

Careful planning and preparation of the treatment means higher efficiency with lower protection costs, as well as less risk for the environment and the operator. It consists of up-to-date recognition of the need and conditions for treatment and long-term planning, undertaken well in advance. Details at:


The final choice of plant protection product must be made rationally, based on:

  • identification of the species and the susceptible development phase of the pest,
  • assessment of the efficacy of the product on the pests, taking into account their threshold of economic harmfulness,
  • crop,
  • owned agrotechnical equipment,
  • growing season, time of year, weather conditions,
  • the period between the application of the measure and the time when people may enter the protected area and animals may be introduced (prevention period),
  • prevention period for bees (anti-poisoning period),
  • the period between the last application of the product and the date of harvest of the crop (withdrawal period and feed withdrawal period),
  • toxicity of the product to humans, animals and the environment.

Long-term planning makes it possible to improve work organisation (training for operators, preparation of the sprayer to guarantee less risk of environmental contamination and greater safety for people) and safety for the environment (identification of areas sensitive to contamination, including habitat for beneficial fauna, maintenance of trees and bushes shielding sensitive areas, designation of protection zones for them and protection of mid-field wells and drainage wells).

The use of plant protection products must be a fully informed action when no other methods are available to protect crops from pests.

It is imperative to use only products authorised for marketing and use by a decision of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and after reading the product’s instructions for use in detail. The effectiveness of chemical protection depends on many factors and is not guaranteed in every situation. Therefore, each time a protected plantation is inspected, it is necessary to determine the effectiveness of the treatment performed. This will allow accurate planning of further cultivation measures. It is particularly important for the farmer to monitor the presence of agrophages that do not react to the chemical agents used, as this can be an indication of errors or the emergence of resistance among them. According to legal requirements (EC Regulation 1107/2009), professional users of plant protection products shall keep and maintain for at least three years records of the plant protection products they use, including the name of the plant protection product, the time of application and the dose applied, the area and crop on which the plant protection product was used. It is a good idea to keep records of observed cases of reduced effectiveness of chemical protection, in order to identify the causes and possible risks as soon as possible.

The principles of calibration and maintenance of field and orchard sprayers are presented in the lessons of Area 9: Agricultural Chemicals and Waste Management.