Under the Green Growth agreement additional funds have been provided for inspections related to the use of plant protection products. These funds will be used for additional inspection of washing and filling installations in farms, spraying certificates and the introduction of an inspection system for spray application equipment, residues of plant protection equipment in foodstuffs and the illegal import of plant protection products.
Unified pesticide inspections, including illegal import and confiscation
Unified pesticide inspection means that all inspection of farms in respect of pesticide issues are managed by a single authority – namely the Danish AgriFish Agency. In the future this Agency will inspect washing and filling installations and verify whether operators are in possession of a valid pesticides application certificate (a "spraying certificate"). The Agency will also monitor the storage and use of prohibited and illegally imported products at farms and other agricultural enterprises.
Inspection of pesticide application equipment
The Framework Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides requires that Member States introduce mandatory inspections of pesticide application equipment (sprayers), initially once every five years. The Danish system will be financed by user fees.
The aim of the inspections is to ensure that application is performed using safe equipment in order that the operator is exposed to the least amount of sprayer fluid possible and unnecessary wastage of pesticides is avoided. Furthermore, the goal is to ensure that plant protection products are uniformly distributed over the ground and that use of plant protection products is reduced. The new regulations should be in place by December 2011.
In June 2010, the Danish AgriFish Agency issued a report containing proposals on how to configure a new appraisal scheme for pesticide application equipment. The proposals came from a working group consisting of people from the agricultural machinery industry, the agricultural and horticultural sector and the government. The recommendations of the report will be included in the considerations of a future bill on the inspection of pesticide application equipment. The Environmental Protection Agency prepared the bill and the Parliament passed this legislation as Act No. 489 of 21 May 2013.
Read more on the homepage of the Danish AgriFish Agency (In Danish only)
Duty to record plant protection products used
For many years, all farms including horticulturalists, fruit farms and nurseries have been obliged to prepare records of their use of plant protection products. Under the Green Growth agreement it was decided to introduce an obligation in future to report these records to the authorities. The requirement enters into force from the 2010/2011 growing season. Reports must be sent to the Danish AgriFish Agency under the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries.
Read more on the homepage of the Danish AgriFish Agency (danish)
The reporting obligation
Under the reporting obligation, farmers must report the quantities of plant protection products used at crop level, i.e. calculate the total application of each plant protection product for all winter wheat fields at the farm and similarly for other crops.
More detailed spraying records must be kept at field level and be available at the farms. These records must contain information including the types of crops under cultivation, the types of plant protection products being used on each crop and the dosage of plant protection products used in each spraying.
The spraying records must be kept by the farm for three years and must be made available to the competent authority on request.
Advantages of the reporting obligation
The introduction of an obligation to submit records of used plant protection products will achieve the following:
- The authorities will have access to a statement of the annual consumption of plant protection products, instead of only a statement of sales as at present
- Exact knowledge of the crops to which the plant protection products are applied
- Increased knowledge of the dosages of plant protection products being used
- Knowledge of the types of farms having the greatest consumption of plant protection products and any regional differences
- Information on farms with high consumption of plant protection products, which are thus suitable for inclusion in the advisory initiative on Integrated Pest Management
- Incentives for increased responsibility in the individual farmer’s use of plant protection products
- Greater general knowledge is achieved, which, for example, can be used to establish reduction targets for each type of crop
Residues of plant protection products in foodstuffs
The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration carries out countrywide inspections of residues of plant protection products in foodstuffs. The results are published annually in a report on the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration website.
Funds have been provided under the Green Growth agreement to continue the inspections and these will be reinforced by the development of new analysis methods and by including additional tests in the analyses. In addition to this, the results will be published several times a year, rather than just annually.