NFU underlines importance of glyphosate

tractor crop spraying_7835

We're urging farmers to contact their MEPs to tell them about the importance of glyphosate, ahead of a crucial vote.

Alongside the other UK farming unions, the NFU will write to the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety and to UK MEPs on the EU agriculture and environment committees.

We will be underlining  the importance of the world’s most widely used herbicide glyphosate and calling for MEPs to grant its urgent re-authorisation.

:: Members, read the letter here (you will need to login first)

The European Parliament will vote later this month on whether the European Commission’s proposed re-authorisation of glyphosate should be removed, pending further analysis of the environmental and human health impacts of the herbicide.

We want MEPs to oppose the resolution, citing the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA1 ) conclusion that ‘glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans’. 

And your efforts could make a difference.

Your shout: You've been telling us why glyphosate is so important, with scores of you commenting through NFUonline. Use the feedback facility at the bottom of this page to join the debate.

NFU Vice President Guy Smith said: “Glyphosate has long been used on farm as a broad-spectrum herbicide to control pernicious weeds before planting. This practice allows the farmer to avoid more expensive cultivation techniques such as ploughing. This is proven to be good for climate change mitigation by reducing fossil fuel usage in tractors and subsequent greenhouse gas emissions. 

“Furthermore, these minimum tillage establishment practices have additional environmental benefits and have been shown to have positive effects on biodiversity and decrease soil erosion.

Guy Smith inspecting grass_27807

“ADAS put the estimated value of the use of glyphosate in the UK arable sector at an estimated €633million a year. It said the loss of glyphosate would likely see a decline of production of winter wheat and winter barley by 12 per cent and oilseed rape by 10 per cent. Loss of availability in the livestock and dairy sectors would result in an inability to tackle invasive and poisonous species such as ragwort in grassland.

“The NFU has grasped the opportunity to discuss the impact on agriculture with MEPs and Member States’ national governments through the NFU’s established Brussels office.

“We look forward to making the case for glyphosate directly to Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis from DG Sante in a letter to him and several MEPs in the next few days.

“We’re keen that farmers make the case for glyphosate use on their farm to their local MEP. From an MEP’s point of view a letter from a constituent can influence their opinion, and potentially their vote, which is why we’re urging farmers to do this.”

Our tips on writing to your MEP:

  • Posted by: John LeaPosted on: 07/04/2016 15:34:17

    Comment: I am retired from active farming but still farm 23 acres of woodland including 2 small wildflower would have been impossible to establish them and maintain them without using glyphosate. weeds that grow in fertile farmland have to be eradicated before you can establish less aggressive ancient plants.
  • Posted by: Glenn Bealey Posted on: 07/04/2016 18:13:55

    Comment: The loss of such a vital chemical as Glyphoste would have a profound inpact on our farming system and hit our ability to try and remain profitable . We use it for a number of applications 1 . to keep stubble's clean prior to drilling the next crop , this avoids costly cultivation's that loosen the soil which raises the risk of soil erosion and also uses vast amounts of fossil fuel ( diesel ) Tyre wear and costly man hours .2 . We are currently in a woodland grant scheme to clear rhododendrons from our 35 acres of woodland to try and prevent the spread of sudden Oak death fungus which is carried on the rhododendron leaves . The forestry commission's recommended way of controlling the rhododendron is for the use of Glyphosate to be applied to the stumps to kill it , It seems to be working really well . what else could we use as it would just keep coming back meaning not only moire hard work but the use of more fossil fuels ( petrol ) in the chain saws and the fumes from the saw being inhaled by the user also not good for human health or the environment !!!! some common sense must prevail here 3 . we use it to control weed on our farm hard standing areas , as it is so safe to the environment , if we had to use other types of residual chemicals these could cause more damage to the environment in the long run . 4 . we use it to spray around our young trees in new woodland we created on 14 acres , how else would we control the grass and weeds that stifle the growth of the young trees with out having an adverse effect on the trees them selves which could happen if we try to use any other chemical if there is even one we can use ? so there you have it There is so may uses for this chemical that has been a godsend to so many industries , the high ways , the rail network , the forestry and woodland , and agriculture , with out it to be honest the outlook is bleak. farmer /contractor / forester Glenn Bealey NCA