IFA national grain chair Kieran McEvoy has said the outcome of the plenary vote in the European Parliament on the Sustainable Use and Reduction (SUR) is a major relief for farmers.

Speaking after today’s vote, where MEPs rejected the proposal which included targets to cut pesticide use by 50% by 2030 and a 100% ban on use in sensitive areas, Kieran McEvoy said the SUR would have been very damaging to agricultural production and food security across the EU.

“There wasn’t sufficient time given to discuss the full implications of what was proposed.

Learning curve

“If there is one learning from this outcome, it’s that policy makers have to engage fully before bringing new regulations forward,” he said.

“Tillage farming in Ireland would have been especially impacted by the sensitive areas proposal and the proposed pesticide cuts.

“It would be impossible to grow the tillage sector to the Government target of 400,000 hectares.”

During a round of meetings in Brussels last week, the IFA highlighted to Irish MEPs the potential impact the SUR proposals could have on Irish farming.