Zero-residue artichoke production by integrated pest management
A new sustainable European market trend named zero-residue production has emerged as consequence of the concern about pesticides risk and the high cost of organic production. This methodology includes integrated pest management (IPM) in crops using bio-pesticides and low-impact synthesis products, to ensure residue levels, not only below the maximum residue limits (MRLs) imposed by European legislation, but also to no detectable residues (NDR) levels. This work aims producing globe artichokes free of pesticide residues using an adequate IPM strategy. For this, a phytosanitary program, based on the application of chemical pesticides and natural extracts, has been applied to 'Opera' artichoke cultivar grown in an experimental field located in Cuevas del Almanzora (Almería). For the control of zero-residue strategy, artichoke heads were analysed by LC-MS/MS or GC-MS/MS for pesticide residues quantification during the 2017-2018 harvest period. The main pests and cryptogrammic diseases facing us were caterpillars, whiteflies, aphids, snails, mildew and oidium. It was observed that the use of conventional pesticides during initial development of artichoke heads, and subsequent application of natural extracts from the appearance of the peduncle was an effective strategy for pests eradication. Furthermore, while in conventional field two active substances (diphenoconazole and myclobutanil) were detected within the legal limits in residue analysis; in zero-residue field, pesticide residues were lower than their quantification limits, complying with the MRLs imposed by the legislation as well as with the zero-residue requirement of NDR. On the other hand, crop yield of zero-residue production was similar to conventional production. These results demonstrate that zero-residue artichoke production may be a sustainable practice capable of opening new European markets.
Almela, L., García-Martínez, N. and Andreo-Martínez, P. (2020). Zero-residue artichoke production by integrated pest management. Acta Hortic. 1284, 157-164
residue-free vegetables, Cynara scolymus, pest control, pesticides, maximum residue limits, natural extracts