For the 2018 cropping year, and beyond, the European Commission have announced that there will be a complete ban on all plant protection products used on Environmental Focus Areas (EFAs) after a vote in Brussels was passed following four year of campaigning by NGOs and progressive farming organisations. Ecological Focus Areas are part of the “greening” measures introduced in the last CAP reform. They foresee that 5% of the arable land of farms above 15 hectares must be primarily devoted to increasing biodiversity on farmland areas.

This ban begins at the time of sowing the crop so will come into force this autumn for 2018 crops. The ban covers EFA fallow, catch and cover crops and all nitrogen fixing crops. This ban also extends to seed dressings.