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DISCUSS, the Dual Indicator Set for Sustainable Crop protection Sustainability Surveys, was designed to help farmers achieve more sustainable crop protection (Wustenberghs et al., 2012). The indicator set pairs a risk indicator with a response indicator. POCER, the Pesticide OCcupational and Environmental Risk indicator (Vercruysse and Steurbaut, 2002), quantifies risk for human health and the environment exerted by chemical crop protection. An inquiry reveals farmers’ response to this risk, both in terms of their management actions and their knowledge, awareness and attitude.
While DISCUSS is predominantly meant to be a learning instrument for farmers, the phase between design table and practical use is mainly characterized by intensive learning on the researchers’ side, as insight needs to be gained in its operational mechanisms and conditions. First, farmers’ ability and willingness to fill out the extensive inquiry is examined in a test set up and in respondent interviews. Second, variation within actual farm data is calculated for all the parts of DISCUSS. Variation needs to be sufficiently large to make discussion worthwhile. Third, insight is needed into the correlations and trade-offs between the POCER risk indicators, between the inquiry themes and between POCER and the inquiry. A last matter of concern is the way results are reported. While scientifically correct, results need to appeal to farmers and incite them to participate in sustainability assessment, to reflect about their crop protection management, discuss it with their peers, and ultimately to take actions to improve sustainability.
Insights gained while testing DISCUSS on Flemish fruit farms will be presented.
Originele taal-2Engels
TijdschriftCommunications in Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences
Volume78
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
Pagina's (van-tot)50
Aantal pagina's1
ISSN1379-1176
StatusGepubliceerd - 2013
Event65th International Symposium on Crop Protection (2013) - Gent, België
Duur: 21-mei-201321-mei-2013

ID: 2918543