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Journal Articles Scientific Reports Year : 2020

Delaying the first grapevine fungicide application reduces exposure on operators by half

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Abstract

Downy mildew is a severe disease of grapevines treated by repeated fungicide applications during the growing season. The impact of these treatments on human health is currently under scrutiny. Fungicide application long before disease onset is not thought to be greatly beneficial for grape production, but the first fungicide treatment is applied at least six weeks before disease onset in more than 50% of the vineyards in the Bordeaux region, a major French vine-growing area. We estimate that applying one fungicide every two weeks at disease onset would reduce fungicide applications against downy mildew by 56% (95%IC = [51.0%, 61.3%]), on average, relative to current levels. This decrease is slightly greater than the level of exposure reduction resulting from the random suppression of one out of every two fungicide treatments (i.e. 50%). The reduction is lower when treatments are sprayed weekly but still reaches at least 12.4% (95%IC = [4.3%, 20.8%]) in this case. We show that this and other strategies reducing the number of treatments would decrease operator exposure to pesticides as effectively as the use of various types of personal protective equipments in the Bordeaux region. The implementation of this strategy would significantly decrease fungicide use, health risks, and adverse environmental impacts of vineyards.
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Dates and versions

inserm-02875104 , version 1 (19-06-2020)

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Mathilde Chen, François Brun, Marc Raynal, David Makowski. Delaying the first grapevine fungicide application reduces exposure on operators by half. Scientific Reports, 2020, 10 (1), pp.6404. ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-62954-4⟩. ⟨inserm-02875104⟩
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