Is it time to regulate products sold outside the farmgate?

Yesterday, June 29, AgriLand published data showing that agriculture accounted for approximately half of the plant protection products sold in this country.

A massive 17% of plant protection products were sold to non-professional users in 2018 and another 30% (approximately) are sold to professional users, outside of agriculture, but with what regulation?

Farmers who apply plant protection products are trained. Application equipment is tested. Chemicals are not applied within certain distances of watercourses. Low-drift technology is used.

Also Read: Almost 50% of plant protection products not used in agriculture

Detailed records of the amounts, timing and reasons for applying a plant protection product are kept and can be inspected at any time.

Chemicals are stored in a chemical store. Cans are triple rinsed before being disposed of and a record or proof of where those cans were disposed of is needed.

Large percentage unregulated

Yet, almost 50% of plant protection products are largely unregulated.

What happens to the 17% of plant protection products that are sold to non-professional users? Are they applied at appropriate rates? Are the cans rinsed and disposed of in a safe manner?

If a home owner has a small garden, why do they need 1L of glyphosate which could be applied to 1ha of land on a farm?

The Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive is an important piece of legislation which has improved the use of pesticides in this country.

Also Read: Almost 50% of plant protection products not used in agriculture

Now it’s time to look at what action can be taken on the other 50% of pesticides in use outside of the farmgate – the gardeners, golf courses, amenities.

Small pesticide applicator testing is in the pipeline, but is yet to happen.

Are gardeners applying insecticide to their roses practicing integrated pest management before they apply the product or do they simply see an insect, go to the shop, buy an insecticide, spray the product and eventually throw the container in the bin?

On a side note, on January 1, 2019, France banned the domestic use of pesticides.