According to Statistics Estonia, 691 tons of pesticides (by active substance) were placed on the market in Estonia in 2015, which was 15% more than in the previous year. The quantity of sold pesticides has been increasing in the last five years.
Compared to 2014, the quantity of pesticides placed on the market in 2015 was 92 tons more, with the greatest increase in the quantity of herbicides and fungicides (46 tons and 23 tons, respectively). Insecticides was the only group of pesticides where sales decreased. Five years ago, in 2011, the quantity of sold pesticides was 461 tons.
In 2015, 8% more pesticides were used in crop production than the year before. Simultaneously, the agricultural land area and yield increased. When comparing the use of pesticides per hectare of cultivated land in the last five years, it has increased from 1.0 kg of preparation in 2011 to 1.1 kg in 2015.
In the agricultural use of pesticides, herbicides made up 69%, of which 68% were used in the production of cereals. In total, the quantity used for cereals was also the largest (251 tons in 2015). In growing industrial crops (rape and turnip rape), 57 tons of pesticides were used.
Pesticides placed on the market are pesticides bought abroad and brought to Estonia for sales. Pesticides are used as weed, plant pest, parasite and insect killers. The characteristics of pesticides — stability, low solubility in water and high solubility in fats — lead to their accumulation in living organisms and food-chains. Depending on the biochemical processes that the pesticides block, their toxicity to human organisms varies (cancerogenic, teratogenic, estrogenic impact). The use of pesticides can fluctuate yearly depending on climate conditions and variability in plant damages and diseases.
For the statistical activity “Sales of pesticides”, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Rural Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting this statistical activity.