Analysing the influence of crop management on pesticide use intensity while controlling for external sources of variability with Linear Mixed Effects Models

Bürger, J. and Günther, A. and de Mol, F. and et al, . (2012) Analysing the influence of crop management on pesticide use intensity while controlling for external sources of variability with Linear Mixed Effects Models. Agricultural Systems, 111. pp. 13-22.

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We present an approach of Linear Mixed Effects Modelling to analyse the influence of crop management factors like rotation, tillage, seeding time and cultivar on pesticide use intensity from on-farm data. We use data from 761 winter wheat crops in eight commercial farms and six different regions of Eastern Germany. By defining cropping year, farm and region as random effects, the variability caused by these external factors can be accounted for before estimating effects of crop management factors. The objective of the research we present was to develop and test a method to analyse pesticide use monitoring data appropriately in order to (1) gain insight into the relationship between crop management and pesticide use, (2) integrate external sources of variability into the analysis and quantify their effect, and thereby (3) make a large data pool accessible for further interpretation which will develop further because this kind of monitoring has recently been made mandatory throughout Europe. The benefit of such an analysis is to utilise the practical experience generated by farmers with their daily work that is mirrored in these data for research purposes. This could be valuable in, for example, assessing the effect of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) measures on the pesticide use intensity in arable agriculture, for which evidence is still scarce. We quantified pesticide use intensity using the Standardised Treatment Index (STI). For fungicides, herbicides and growth regulators, we modelled the STI as response of 11 management variables using Linear Mixed Effects Modelling. Insecticide use intensity was not modelled since most fields were not treated with insecticides.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The scientific research for this paper was supported by Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt with a grant from the PhD program for J. Bürger. We would like to thank E. Lehmann and A. Ziesemer of the State Research Institute for Agriculture and Fishery Mecklenburg– Vorpommern for providing data. Two anonymous reviewers have helped to improve the manuscript with their comments.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Standardised Treatment Index, Linear Mixed Effects Models, Integrated Pest Management, On-farm data, Pesticide monitoring, Eastern Germany
Author Affiliation: University of Rostock, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Working Group Crop Health, Satower Straße 48, 18051 Rostock, Germany
Subjects: Crop Improvement
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2012 08:21
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2012 08:22
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