EU ban on chemicals will hit Scots farmers
A VOTE in the European Parliament last week rejected the views of the parliament’s own agricultural committee and will now see a ban for the use of plant protection products (PPPs) on ecological focus areas (EFAs) become effective for claim year 2018.
The plan to ban PPPs on EFA crops had been strongly opposed by NFU Scotland, fellow farming unions and several member states – a position that was accepted by the agri-committee of the European Parliament two weeks ago.
In a vote at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, a majority of the MEPs who voted followed the lead of their committee. Unfortunately, with 78 MEPs not present at the vote, the 376 who voted in favour fell short of the required absolute majority.
While there are many other elements in the CAP simplification proposals for greening rules that could be of benefit to Scottish farmers, NFUS points out that the onus is now on Scottish Government as to whether these will be adopted.
NFUS’s understanding is that Professor Griggs’ group has already made recommendations concerning greening changes announced by the rural secretary in February. The group should now also be able to consider implementation of the changes agreed in Brussels. Decisions need to be made very soon, as farmers are already planning their land use and cropping for 2018.