p-EMA (III): overview and application of a software system designed to assess the environmental risk of agricultural pesticides
A new risk assessment system for pesticides has been developed for use by a wide variety of end-users from agronomists to farmers. This system replaces the old, predominately hazard-based approach that was originally used by the UK's EMA software package. The approach adopted is consistent with current regulatory assessments but adjustments are made to reflect the local conditions and the environmental costs and benefits of varying management practices. This paper presents an overview of the software and provides examples of its use and evaluation via case studies. The first of the case studies examines how the approach compares with the original EMA methodology and a variety of other indicators that were compared during the EU CAPER project. Other case studies apply the new system to assess whether differences in risk can be identified between different farm management systems - conventional agriculture and Integrated Crop Management.