EU ban on chem­i­cals will hit Scots farm­ers

The Oban Times - - Farming -

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.

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