Pesticides banned on EFAs
The European Parliament has gone against the recommendation of its Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and implemented a complete ban on the use of Plant Protection Products (PPP) on EFA Fallow Land, EFA Catch and Cover Crops, and EFA Nitrogen-fixing Crops.
The ban applies from the time of sowing the crop, even if this is before 1 January 2018, to harvesting. The ban also applies to seed dressings.
The area of dry harvested pulses in the UK has increased by 66% since the Basic Payment Scheme was introduced; with a ban of pesticides is likely to discourage its production due to the effect on crop quality. Farmers could alternatively turn to EFA options such as buffer strips and hedges to meet their requirements, however using these a EFA a make applying for BPS a more time consuming.
It has also been suggested that this ban of PPP could have a negative effect on the environment. If we can’t use plant protection products to establish legumes and flowers, there will be less seeds for birds and less pollen and less nectar for bees.
It is important farmer consider their 2018 Greening requirements now, once they have reflected on the changes to the rules. If this ban on PPP will affect your EFA you could consider using the following as alternative an EFA:
- Buffer strips
- Cover Crops
- Fallow land
- Field margins (ensure these do not overlap with CSS margins)
For assistance with planning your 2018 Greening requirements please contact Madeleys Chartered Surveyors.
Please see the BPS webpage https://www.gov.uk/guidance/bps-2018