Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
From 2014 all professional users of plant protection products must adhere to the specific principles for Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The Green Growth Action Plan will therefore support the effort to expand awareness of IPM. According to the IPM approach, a farmer should always choose the solution with the least impact on human health and the environment.
The EU has established the overall principles for IPM with the intention that IPM is deployed wherever possible to help reduce the harmful effects of plant protection products. A farmer’s compliance with the IPM line of thought involves the consistent application of solutions for the field or greenhouse that have the least impact on human health and the environment. Such solutions may consist of preventing infestation or a combination of various methods, such as non-chemical, mechanical or microbiological pest management.
EU requirements for Danish IPM initiatives
From 2014, all professional users of plant protection products must follow the special principles for Integrated Pest Management. The principles are part of the EU’s Framework Directive on sustainable use of pesticides (Directive 2009/128/EF) and include the following:
- Crop rotation (e.g. reduction in winter crops in favour of more spring crops)
- The use of decision supporting systems, forecasting and warning systems that provide support for decisions on pest control
- The use of resistant varieties and further refinement of these varieties. Biological, physical and other non-chemical methods must be used in preference to chemical methods.
- In addition to the topics that are specified in the Framework Directive, Integrated Pest Management may include a large number of other factors/cultivation techniques that reduce the need for chemical plant protection.
The EU does not set a target level for the implementation of IPM by individual Member States. A number of IPM tools have to a large degree already been implemented by the Danish agricultural industry, but the idea is to improve our utilisation of IPM principles.
EU Member States must report to the Commission on their promotion of the IPM principles before summer 2013.
Initiatives under the Green Growth agreement
Green Growth supports efforts to increase knowledge of IPM. The following initiatives are being implemented:
- A specifically targeted advisory initiative on IPM for the agricultural and horticultural industry.
- Establishment of seven IPM demonstration farms in which a number of IPM principles will be tested and the experience communicated to consultants and growers.
- Development of a series of crop-specific IPM guidelines.
- Development of new or existing improvements to pest monitoring and warning systems.
- Research initiatives on IPM.
- Change to the pesticide tax so that plant protection products with the highest load on human health and environment are charged the highest tax. This provides an incentive to reduce the use of those plant protection products with most side effects.