Eliminating Reportable Pesticide Residues from Apples

J. V. Cross, A. M. Berrie


Apples have traditionally been treated intensively with pesticides. Pesticide residues surveillance showed that in 2003 >70% contained residues above reporting limits. Several important retailers in the UK are asking their suppliers to strive towards elimination of pesticide residues from fresh produce including apples, to maintain and improve consumer trust. General approaches to reducing the occurrence of residues are discussed, including increasing harvest intervals and alternative control approaches. A new ‘zero residue’ Integrated Pest and Disease Management (IPDM) programme for apple, developed at East Malling Research, where conventional pesticides are not used during fruit development, is described and results of a 6 year experiment at East Malling to evaluate the strategy are reported together with the results of grower trials. The zero residues IPDM programme has been highly successful even on the most pest and disease prone varieties.

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