20% reduction in plant protection products

Almost 20% of the plant protection products currently available in Ireland will be removed from the market in the near future.

The Crops 2030 report recently stated that 75 plant protection products out of the 400 substances currently available are set to be taken off the market.

The report went on to state: “The principal driver of this reduction is the adoption of precautionary principles in assessment, but decision making is becoming more political as evidenced during the renewal of the registration of glyphosate in 2017.”

The report explained that these products are not easily replaced. The cost of developing a new active substance is approximately €250 million. It also takes 11 years to get a new active ingredient to market.

In the year 2000, a total of 70 new active substances were awaiting EU approval. In 2012, just 28 active substances were awaiting approval.

The EU’s Farm to Fork strategy plans to reduce use and risk from pesticides by 50% by 2030.

Challenging for the crops sector

The report outlines that these targets will be challenging for the crops sector.

“The sector will rely heavily on integrated pest management (IPM) strategies to comply with new EU strategies; however, IPM is limited.

“The losses of key plant protection product tools will reduce yields in our main crops [barley, wheat and potatoes] by an average of 25%.

The decreased yields and increased risks may reduce profitability below the costs of production for many farmers.

“The development of IPM measures specific to our conditions is essential to combat crop pests/diseases.”