The Apalta catchment is a wine-producing area of 1300 ha, lying south of Santiago, located in the Colchagua Valley, near Santa Cruz in the VI Region of Chile. The vineyards are planted on slopes of up to 22°, the rows being aligned mainly down the slope. This cropping system and its management lead to a potential contamination of natural resources. To assess the risk of environmental contamination due to the application of pesticides in different pest control strategies, indicators at a field level were derived according to a step-by-step procedure. Using these indicators, runoff was found to be the main process of impact. The different pest control strategies in this catchment caused different potential risks, though these in general were low.
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Vol. 5 • No. 3