Minimising farm crop protection pressure supported by the multiple functionalities of the DISCUSS indicator set

Hilde Wustenberghs, Davina Fevery, Ludwig Lauwers, Fleur Marchand, Pieter Spanoghe

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    Sustainable crop protection (SCP) hasmany facets. Farmersmay therefore perceive transition to SCP as very complex.
    The Dual Indicator Set for Crop Protection Sustainability (DISCUSS) can handle this complexity. To provide
    targeted support throughout the transition to SCP, complexity capture must be synchronised with the time
    course of on-farm decision-making. Tool use must be tuned to farmer awareness and appropriate level of data
    in consecutive stages. This paper thus explores the potential functionalities of DISCUSS in relation to both complexity
    and time. Results from apple and potato crop protection show three potential functions: DISCUSS can
    be used as (1) a simulation tool for communication and decision support, (2) an assessment and monitoring
    tool, and (3) a discussion support tool for farmer groups. Analysis of these functionalities using a framework
    for guiding on-farm sustainability assessment and strategic decision-making shows how each functionality can
    support the consecutive steps of transition to SCP, i.e. using the right tool functionality at the right time.
    Translated title of the contributionDe druk van gewasbescherming minimaliseren met behulp van de verschillende functies van de indicatorenset DISCUSS
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Issue number618
    Pages (from-to)1184–1198
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 15-Mar-2018


    • B390-crop-protection
    • Sustainable crop protection
    • indicators
    • monitoring
    • simulation
    • decision support
    • discussion support
    • stepwise implementation


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