The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) has welcomed as a “very positive development” the European Commission’s announcement on Thursday to renew the herbicide glyphosate’s EU license for a period of 10 years.
The association’s grain chair Kieran McEvoy stated that continued access to the product is a must for tillage farmers in particular.
“Access to glyphosate products is critical for Irish and EU tillage farmers, particularly with an ever-increasing focus on reducing emissions from agriculture,” McEvoy said.
The grain chair mentioned cover crops, multi-species swards and min-till planting as among the practices that are “simply not possible” without the use of the non-selective herbicide.
An IFA delegation travelled to Brussels this week to meet with a number of Irish MEPs and with representatives of Ireland’s European Commissioner Mairéad McGuinness on the issue of farmer access to glyphosate.
“We also took the opportunity to highlight the need to ensure proposals under the sustainable use regulation do not threaten the viability of the Irish tillage sector ahead of a plenary vote on the regulation next week,” McEvoy added.
The sustainable use regulation was proposed by the Commission last year to give legal backing to pesticide reduction targets agreed in the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy.