Low Impact Farming

In 2014, the total quantity of pesticide sales in the EU-28 amounted to close to 400 000 tonnes, with the huge majority used in the agricultural sector. There is an excessive use of pesticides taking place. A study shows for example that, in France, arable farmers could reduce their pesticide use by 30% without reducing their yield.

PAN Europe advocates for pesticide dependency reductions, encouraging policy changes towards ensuring that farmers apply integrated pest management based on solid agronomic practices to prevent pest build-up and on the use of non-chemical alternatives, where needed. Farmers should apply pesticides only where absolutely needed and carefully select pesticides with the lowest harm.

PAN Europe is one of the main EU drivers pushing for a thorough implementation of the EU Directive on sustainable use of pesticides (Directive 2009/128/EC). This Directive clearly says:

Member States shall take all necessary measures to promote low pesticide-input pest management, giving wherever possible priority to non-chemical methods, so that professional users of pesticides switch to practices and products with the lowest risk to human health and the environment among those available for the same pest problem.

Especially we call for the SUD to be integrated into the Common Agricultural Policy hoping to get crop rotation back on the agenda, as number one priority of IPM according to Annex III to the SUD is crop rotation. We also fight for the SUD principles to be integrated into other policies.

SINCE 2015, the IPM Exhibition “Integrated pest management: working with nature” has been exhibited at various venues across Europe. The purpose of the exhibition is to show what integrated pest management means, and how the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive can be implemented and fully integrated into the Common Agricultural Policy. With this exhibition we wish to highlight alternatives that exist and are used by mainstream farmers, often with big differences in uptake by farmers across different crop sectors and Member States.

Building on the IPM exhibit “Working with Nature”, PAN Europe has put together additional technical information on a new website dedicated to low impact farming.  The material includes short technical videos presenting the main posters, as well as testimonies of farmers (in arable crops as well as apple and grape production) on their experience with IPM.

PAN Europe, together with partners, also organises farm visits in order to show what integrated pest management in perennials, illustrating how to use Green tools first, meaning applying good agronomic methods, monitoring, mechanical and physical methods in addition to biocontrol products in the fight against pests and disease.
 

For more information on low impact farming: http://www.low-impact-farming.info

Currently, the Exhibition is hosted by the Board for the Authorisation of Plant Protection Products and Biocides (Ctgb) in the Netherlands.

Should you wish to host this exhibition please contact Henriette Christensen at henriette [at] pan-europe.info

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PAN Europe gratefully acknowledges the financial support from the European Union, European Commission, DG Environment, Life+ programme. Sole responsibility for this publication lies with the authors and the funders are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.