Starigrad Plain: Our Survey

Published in Environment

Preliminary results from our survey about land usage on the Starigrad Plain (Hora, Ager). The survey is work in progress, and is being conducted on behalf of LAG Škoji (Local Action Group), Eco Hvar and the Agency for the Management of the Starigrad Plain. The aim is to gain an overview of land usage, and to gather information as to what the landowners think is needed to improve conditions in this historic field layout. The information has been gathered anonymously, and we thank everyone who has filled in the questionnaire so far. If you have land on the Starigrad Plain and would like to help our research, please apply for a questionnaire form from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Donkeys grazing on the Plain, 2nd June 2014. Donkeys grazing on the Plain, 2nd June 2014. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

Number of completed questionnaires to date: 47.

1. Land owned: 415,786 square metres (m2), 41,5786 hectares (ha)

- Land under cultivation: 358,756 m2, (35,8756 ha) (2 not specified)

Cultivation tunnels, 28th February 2019. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

2. Crops cultivated (farmer numbers): vines 33; olives: 37; fruit: 14; vegetables: 26 ; lavender: 9; asparagus: 2; wheat: 0; almonds: 1; exotic fruits/vegetables (tomatillos, aronia / chokeberries): 1; flowers- limonium (sea lavender): 1

3. Number keeping animals on the Plain: 2: (dog: 1: horse, 1)

4. Registered farm businesses (OPG): 29

5. Registered (certificated) to use pesticides (so-called "plant protection products"): 30

6. Organic certificated: 2

Herbicide under olive trees, 28th February 2019. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

7. Number using herbicides: 21

      - Specifically: Cidokor (Roundup), Boomefekt, Uragan (all glyphosate-based); "glyphosate-based"; "Cidokor and other glyphosate-based herbicides";

      - How often and when? variously: once a year; 1-2 times a year; "as needed"; "once during the season"; "once a year in the places the rotavator can't get to";

8. Number using insecticides: 20

      - including: naturally-based substances according to organic rules; organic teas (nettle etc.); fastac; actara; affirm; bordeaux mix; "against beetles"; "I ask the professionals"; cuprablau (copper with zinc); laser; "various"; "those needed for vines and olives"; laser;

      - How often and when? variously: as needed; occasionally, according to the season; once a year; during blossom time; twice a year; three times a year; in June, as needed; rarely.

9. Number using fungicides: 29

      - naturally-based substances according to organic rules; cuprablau (copper with zinc); sulphur-based products; bordeaux mixture; copper-based products; sulphur; nordox; antramol; mikal; luna; ridomil; topas; falcon; "everything"; "contact/ copper based / systemic / all types"; "those recommended for protecting grapes"; "various"; "the ones needed for vines"; "contact (sulphur, cuprablau)"; 

      -How often and when? variously: when needed; occasionally, depending on the season; once a year; twice a year; 5-6 times a year; up to 6 times a year; 6-7 times a year; in May and June; "during the vine vegetation phase"; "during the vine spraying time"; from May to July; "when I have to"; "preventively"; "during the spraying season"; "without them, there's nothing"; "2-4 times spraying during vegetation";

Fungicide on fruit trees, February 2019. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

10. Actively follow information on agriculture: yes: 34; no: 13

      -Sources of information: Education / courses: 13; from professionals / experts: 17; Internet: 25; advertisements: 6; fellow-cultivators: 28 (two not specified); radio 1

11. Follow information (including bans) about chemical pesticides: yes 35, no 11 (one non-reply)

12. Follow information about alternative organic plant protection products: yes 31, no 14 (two non-replies)

Organic vegetables on the Plain, 2nd June 2014. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

SUGGESTIONS, CRITICISMS, COMMENTS:

  • - I would be grateful to know where i can obtain information and courses about protecting my olive trees, correct ways to prune them and organic cultivation.
  • - The Ager is shameful, 80% neglected land, only 20% cultivated by my estimate. The rough tracks with no asphalt are a catastrophe (making access to land plots difficult), store sheds should be within set dimensions and proportions (not containers and wooden shacks); they should have stone walls, or be clad in stone. Before, there were stone huts (trimovi) for equipment and shelter, but now that's impossible. Sadly, young people are not going into agriculture, they're not interested in grapes and wine, sadly they drink BEER!
  • - How can farmers be steered towards strimming instead of using chemical pesticides? Organic agriculture should be promoted on the island.
  • - There needs to be a survey about irrigation, according to the National Programme for Irrigation in the Republic of Croatia, i.e. the Croatian Water Board
  • - We want water
  • - Allow the main roadways to be mended, and make it possible to renovate the access paths to the land plots - by widening the paths etc.
  • - A way needs to be found to encourage owners of neglected land plots to tidy them up. The macadam tracks need to be put right to make them easier and safer to use. Encourage people not to allow their animals to roam everywhere, they should take care of them. Find a way of providing water over the whole Ager.
  • - Forbid every form of Herbicide / Fungicide and above all Insecticide!!!
  • - There is lots of uncultivated land and the reason for it is our political policy for agriculture for the islands about which all I can say is that of the grapes which we produce 80% of the producers don't know what to do with them.
  • - I would keep animals on my land, but I am not allowed to make an animal shelter for them!
  • - There should be more support and encouragement for the land users on the Ager, so that it does not get overrun by brambles and trees, then the story about the thriving parcelized Stari Grad Plain will not be a "pipe-dream"!
  • - The roadways and tracks are in a very bad state. Please pave the main roads at least with asphalt.
  • - It should be possible for farmers with a registered business (OPG) to erect on their land a building with at least the minimum technical requirements for wine-tasting.
  • - If restrictions were relaxed and rules were more flexible, it would be better for everyone and there would be less untended land.
  • - I think it is necessary to do a reconnaissance of the situation on the ground. To get to my land I cross other plots where, without let or hindrance, various little buildings have been erected, and old vehicles and rubbish dumped. I think the type of any buildings should be limited. If small buildings for tools are approved, their size and appearance should be precisely defined as a condition for approval.
  • - Motivate owners of neglected land plots to bring them into function. Farmers could be motivated by having a certain market for their produce from the Ager. The tracks across the Ager should be restored.
  • - If you want agriculture on the Stari Grad Plain, pave the tracks across the Ager with asphalt.
  • - The Association responsible for the Ager should be more flexible towards the farmers. We live off our agriculture and our work, we don't live off you.
  • - No earthly use up to now, just plenty of messing around.
  • - I recommend that even on these small land plots we should be allowed to build small buildings.
  • - In my opinion small buildings should be allowed on the Ager, or at least some kind of appropriate structure for storing tools and sheltering livestock, we can't build stone roundhouses these days but we could have something similar, not wooden portacabins as has sometimes happened, but little stone-clad buildings. And there should be asphalted or concreted access tracks to each land plot.
  • - The road between Stari Grad and Vrboska should be asphalted, - access tracks should be repaired, - land plots should be cleared of weeds, - plant residues should be dealt with ecologically, - soil fertility should be monitored - fertilizer should be recommended according to the state of the soil - conduct research into the international area, - reduce the amounts of artificial fertilizer.
  • Make a road (from white asphalt or some other permitted material) so that tourists, cyclists and we farmers don't have to swallow dust because the whole Hora is under one big fog of dust.
  • It would be good if the local authorities considered forming an Association of small-scale farmers, to stop the neglect of the Ager, as it is now it will all be taken over by weeds - this is already happening on the Ager.
  • Contact the Agency for the Management of the Starigrad Plain for information about all current and future projects.
  • Brambles are rampant on the Ager, ...trees are growing wild... I hope for a Plan and Programme for the Ager, legalization of the field houses, tours (organized) for visitors across the Ager,perhaps the creation of a branded image related to the Ager (to make it easier to market produce), etc. etc.
  • There should be more care taken over cleaning the Ager and its lands, and funds should be obtained from the EU to encourage cultivation of crops on the Ager.
  • Less brambles and more cultivated land
  • - Croatia has only a few locations with the status of international heritage, under the protection of UNESCO. Hvar has the Hora, as well as two non-material assets. We can be proud of this. Unfortunately, not, not as the Hora is looking nowadays. Living or owning land on the Hora in this historical heritage site is not pleasant. No apartments, no concrete structures, no asphalt - that's all right! To make the Hora look like the pearl it was in my childhood would take a lot of effort on the part of the farmers, along with support from the State. Without the work and presence of the farmers there are no tidy, beautiful fields. The question is how to motivate them. I see the Hora as vineyards planted with the grape varieties of Pošip, Maraškina, Bogdanuša and Plavac mali. A qualified person should decide where each variety should be planted, and the State should provide seedlings, organize preparation of the land, and the stakes and wires. Interested farmers would establish a Cooperative and winery, where they could work as volunteers alongside two employed professionals, and where they could sell their grapes. The wine produced in this winery would be sold in Stari Grad, which is also part of our historical heritage, and it would be forbidden to sell any other wines until all the Hora wine was sold. So the shops, restaurant and bar owners would be obliged to sell wine made from grapes from the Hora. In this way farming would be made attractive. Because only the farmers can restore the Hora to its proper appearance, and up to now they are the only people who have only losses from the fact that they own land on the Hora. While those who gain from the Hora are the State, people in the hospitality business, shops and those twisted creations called Agrotourism from which animals roam free to ruin the neighbouring vineyards and kill off what little enthusiasm there is of the people who cultivate them.
  • Overgrown uncultivated land on the Plain, 28th February 2019. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

AN OVERVIEW OF THE CHEMICAL PESTICIDES NAMED IN THE SURVEY

INSECTICIDES. - ECHA approval code PT18 (Insecticides, acaricides, products to control other arthropods)

ACTARA 25WG, ACTARA 240SC active ingredient THIAMETHOXAM. Neonicotinoid.

Possible adverse effects: Highly toxic to aquatic life, with acute and lasting effects; highly toxic to bees; toxic to earthworms; in humans, can be harmful through skin contact, inhalation, and especially ingestion; can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, dizziness, headache; ingestion can cause seizures, coma, hypothermia, respiratory failure, hypotension, ventricular dysrhythmias and death.
EU: Approved (expiry extended to 30.04.2019.) but for restricted use only (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/785, of 29th May 2018.) ECHA: Not approved
 
AFFIRM Active ingredient EMAMECTIN BENZOATE. Semi-synthetic derivative of avermectin, derived from soil bacterium Streptomyces avermitilis
Possible adverse effects: Highly toxic to bees, birds, aquatic life, aquatic environment, algae; in humans: can cause organ damage, serious eye irritation or damage; muscle tremors, muscle incoordination, vomiting, pulmonary oedema, unconsciousness; skin allergies; toxic through swallowing, inhalation and skin contact.
EU: Approved 01/05/2014 - 30/04/2024. ECHA: Abamectin (avermectin) approved, PT18, 01/07/2013 - 30/06/2023
 
FASTAC ECactive ingredientALPHA-CYPERMETHRIN (ALPHAMETHRIN). Synthetic pyrethroid.
Possible adverse effects: highly toxic to fish, most aquatic organisms and honeybees; toxic to earthworms; possible human carcinogen; can cause irreversible eye damage; serious water pollutant.
EUApproved 01.03.2005 expiry extended from 31.10.2018 to 31.07.2019ECHA: Approved 01/07/2016 - 30/06/2026 under PT18, (but no related biocidal products listed as approved, as at February 2019)
 
LASER active ingredient SPINOSAD, combination of Spinosyn A and Spinosyn D, derived from naturally occurring soil fungi (naturalyte)
Possible adverse effects: Highly toxic to aquatic organisms, with long-lasting effects; highly toxic to bees; toxic to fish and earthworms; in humans can cause allergic reactions and eye irritation.
EU: Approved 01.02.2007 - 30.04.2020. ECHA: Approved, PT18, 01.11.2012. - 31.10.2022.
 
MOSPILAN 20SP active ingredient ACETAMIPRID. Neonicotinoid
Possible adverse effects: Very toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic
environment; highly toxic to honeybees if mixed with piperonyl butoxide or propiconazole; harmful for populations of pollinating insects; harmful to birds and earthworms; dangerous for the environment; in humans: harmful - toxic if swallowed; can be fatal if inhaled; skin irritant
EU: Approved. ECHA: Approved, PT18, 01/02/2020 - 31/01/2027.
(Note: Acetamiprid products no longer registered or available in Croatia: Mospilan 20SG, Acelan 20SP, Volley, Wizzaard, Macho 60FS)
 
ROGOR 40 active ingredient DIMETHOATE. Organophosphate.
Possible adverse effects. Very toxic to bees and aquatic organisms; possibly toxic to wildlife, including birds, and livestock: possible endocrine disruptor; in humans inhalation, swallowing or excess skin contact can cause breathing difficulties, headache, dizziness, tiredness, slurred speech, blurred vision, a lack of coordination, sweating, slow or rapid heart beat, convulsions, incontinence and in extreme cases unconsciousness and death; when swallowed, can also cause vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, faecal incontinence; long-term exposure may lead to impaired memory, depression, irritability, confusion and insomnia; possible human carcinogen (USEPA).
EU: Approved 01.10.2007, expiry extended to 31.07.2019. ECHA: As at October 2018 and 12th February 2019, Dimethoate was not approved.

HERBICIDES (ECHA has no code for herbicide approval)

 
Cidokor (Roundup), Boom efekt. active ingredient GLYPHOSATE. There are at least some 750 glyphosate-based herbicides available in the world markets. Eleven of them, including the widely used Roundup (Cidokor in Croatian), were banned in the EU in 2016.
Suspected possible adverse effects in humans: carcinogenic; neurotoxic; genotoxic; contributes to antibiotic resistance; influences pregnancy, fertility, and birth defects; endocrine disruptor; damages DNA, gut bacteria, organs including liver, kidneys and spleen; contributes to Parkinson's Disease and autism.
Possible environmental ill-effects: damage to water, fish, aquatic organisms, soil, soil organisms, bees, butterflies, gastropods, trees, plants.

FUNGICIDES (ECHA has no code for fungicide approval) 

Cuprablau Z, Modra galica. active ingredients COPPER COMPOUNDS
Possible adverse effects: highly toxic to fish, birds, aquatic invertebrates, organisms and plants; toxic to bees and earthworms; sheep, chickens; persists in the soil. In humans can cause nausea, irritation of respiratory tract and skin, eczema. Eye contact can cause conjunctivitis, inflammation of the eyelid lining, excess fluid build-up in the eyelid, clouding of the cornea, cornea tissue deterioration due to ulceration in the eye's mucous membrane.
Long-term, excessive exposure leads to the risk of heavy metal poisoning, including liver disease, brain damage, kidney and intestinal problems, anaemia, mutagenic potential; possible damaging effects on reproduction and development. Symptoms include: a metallic taste in the mouth, burning pain in the chest and abdomen, intense nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, sweating, shock, disrupted urination leading to yellowing of the skin.
EU: Approved. Croatia: Modra Galica (Scarmagnan) was erased from the list of approved products on 01.07.2016.
 
Bordoška mix (juha) (Bordeaux Mixture), active ingredients COPPER SULPHATE + hydrated lime / calcium dihydroxide
Possible adverse effects: Copper sulphate products are highly toxic to fish, birds, bees and earthworms, toxic to mammals, aquatic invertebrates, aquatic plants, algae, sediment dwelling organisms; possible reproduction and developmental effects; irritant to the respiratory tract; corrosive to skin and eyes; ingestion can cause burning pain in the chest and abdomen, intense nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, sweating, shock, and yellowing of the skin caused by disrupted urination. High doses and prolonged exposure can cause anaemia, also damage to the brain, liver, kidneys and stomach and intestinal linings. People with Wilson's disease (in which copper is absorbed and stored excessively in the body), are at special risk of poisoning from copper-based pesticides. Associated with increased risk of potentially malignant oral submucous fibrosis, which can lead to oral squamous cell carcinoma.
 
ANTRACOLactive ingredient PROPINEB (substance type: carbamate)
PROPINEB Possible adverse effects: highly toxic to aquatic life; toxic to bees, birds, earthworms; in humans: can cause organ damage, allergic skin reactions; toxic on skin contact; suspected as possible carcinogen, respiratory tract irritant.
EUnot approved (approval revoked, but a grace period allowed to Member States until 22nd June 2019)
 
CABRIO® TOP active ingredients METIRAM (substance group Carbamate) and PYRACLOSTROBIN Carbamate ester, substance group Strobilurin
METIRAM Possible adverse effects: Moderately toxic to fish; highly toxic to aquatic invertebrates; highly toxic to aquatic life, with long-lasting effects; hazardous to the aquqatic environment; moderately toxic to honeybees and earthworms; in humans: can cause skin and eye irritation; can cause anaemia; toxic if ingested or inhaled; can cause abdominal cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea if ingested; classified as a possible human carcinogen
EU: Approved 01/07/20016 - 31/01/2020 (extended from 31/01/2019). ECHA : Not listed as at 4th March 2019
PYRACLOSTROBIN Possible adverse effects: Highly toxic to fish, aquatic life, with long-lasting effects; hazardous to the aquatic environment with long-term effects; in humans: toxic, acutely dangerous if inhaled, can be fatal if swallowed; may cause respiratory irritation; causes eye and skin irritation; causes neurodegeneration; can cause nausea, headache, dizziness, chest pain
EU: Approved 01/06/2004 - 31/01/2020. ECHANot listed as at 27th February 2019
 
FALCON active ingredients TEBUCONAZOLE, (substance group triazole) & SPIROXAMINE Substance group morpholine
TEBUCONAZOLE Possible adverse effects: highly toxic to aquatic life, with long-lasting effects; toxic to bees, birds, earthworms; in humans: can damage the unborn child; possible human carcinogen; toxic if swallowed.
EU: Approved 01/09/2009 - 31/08/2019. ECHA: approved under PT07 (film preservatives), 08 (wood preservatives), 10 (construction material preservatives)
SPIROXAMINE Possible adverse effects: very toxic to aquatic life; in humans, suspected of causing damage to the unborn child; may cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure; harmful if swallowed or inhaled; can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions;
EU: Approved 01.01.2012 - 31.12.2021
 
LUNA Privilege, LUNA sensation. active ingredient FLUOPYRAM, substance group benzamide, pyramide;
LUNA Experience (active ingredients FLUOPYRAM with TEBUCONAZOLE (substance group triazole)
FLUOPYRAM Possible adverse effects: very toxic to fish, aquatic plants and algae, with long-lasting effects; slightly toxic to bees, birds, earthworms; in humans, can cause serious eye irritation; possibly causes damage to nervous system; affects reproduction, possibly damages the unborn child
EU: Approved 01/02/2014 - 31/01/2024.
TEBUCONAZOLE Possible adverse effects: highly toxic to aquatic life, with long-lasting effects; toxic to bees, birds, earthworms; in humans: can damage the unborn child; possible human carcinogen; toxic if swallowed.
EU: Approved 01/09/2009 - 31/08/2019. ECHA: approved under PT07 (film preservatives), 08 (wood preservatives), 10 (construction material preservatives)
 
MIKAL, MIKAL FLASH active ingredients FOLPET (synthetic phthalimide) + FOSETYL-AL (organophosphate)
FOLPET Possible adverse effects: highly toxic to fish and aquatic organisms; probable human carcinogen; causes developmental effects in animals; toxic if inhaled; causes serious eye irritation; can cause allergic skin reactions; moderately toxic to earthworms.
EU: Approved 01/10/2007 - 31/07/2019. ECHA: approved under PT 06 (preservatives for products during storage), 07 (film preservatives), 09 (fibre, leather, rubber and polymerised materials preservatives)
FOSETYL-ALUMINIUM (Fosetyl-al) Possible adverse effects: toxic to mammals, bees, birds, fish, aquatic invertebrates, algae, earthworms; possible human carcinogen; irritant if inhaled, can cause lung damage; causes serious eye irritation or damage; skin irritant
EU: approved 01/05/2007 - 30/04/2020
 
RIDOMIL Gold. active ingredients MANCOZEB (substance group carbamate) + METALAXYL (substance group phenylamide)
MANCOZEB Possible adverse effects: toxic to fish, birds, aquatic invertebrates; moderately toxic to bees, earthworms, algae; in humans: possible thyroid disruptor; possible effects on reproduction and development; respirator
y tract irritant; eye irritant
EU: Approved 01/07/2006 - extended to 31/01/2020.
METALAXYL Possible adverse effects: toxic to bees, birds, fish, earthworms; in humans: can cause serious eye damage; skin irritant; very harmful if swallowed
EU: Approved 01/07/2010 - 30/06/2023.
 
TILT active ingredient PROPICONAZOLE, substance group Triazole
Possible adverse effects: highly toxic to fish; in humans, highly irritant to eyes and skin; harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin; can cause skin allergies; possible liver toxicant; possible endocrine disruptor; classified as possible carcinogen by USEPA
EU: approval withdrawn December 2018, final deadline March 2020.
 
TOPAS. active ingredient PENCONAZOLE, substance group Triazole
PENCONAZOLE Possible adverse effects: toxic to bees, birds, fish, aquatic invertebrates and algae; suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child; possible endocrine disruptor; harmful if swallowed
EU: Approved 01.01.2012 - 31.12.2021

For a more comprehensive listing of pesticides in common use on Hvar, please refer to 'Pesticides and their Adverse Effects

CONTACT for further information:

LAG Škoji: 095/549-5949 (Website, in Croatian www.lag-skoji.hr)

Agencija za upravljanje Starogradskim Poljem: 021 765 275 (Website, in Croatian www.starogradsko-polje.com)

Udruga Eco Hvar, tel. 098/977-3229, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The survey is continually being updated as more forms are returned. Last update 19th March 2019.

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