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EU to ban pesticides from Ecological Focus Areas

Staff Writer | June 16, 2017
On Wednesday, EU MEPs narrowly voted to prevent the use of pesticides in Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) under new Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) rules. The new rules come into force in January next year.
Ecology   Common Agriculture Policy
To qualify for CAP payments, farmers with more than 15 hectares of arable land must designate at least 5% of their land as EFA.

They must cultivate this land with nature in mind, promoting biodiversity by establishing field margins, hedgerows, buffer strips and trees.

The vote means pesticide use will no longer be allowed on nitrogen-fixing crops, fallow, cover and catch crops that are counted as EFA. However, the exact rules are yet to be set out by EU legislators.

The proposals were initially tabled by the EU Commission in February.

Efforts to block the new legislation in the Parliament by members of the Agriculture Committee (including UKIP MEP Stuart Agnew) fell short by 13 votes on Wednesday.