Spring is nearly upon us and, after a weather delay, we hope to start sowing spring wheat, sugar beet, peas and potatoes, as well as applying crop protection products and fertiliser, writes Stafford Proctor.
Glyphosate is a broad spectrum systemic herbicide. It is widely used on farms, on railway and road verges, in private gardens and public spaces. It has been safely used for over 40 years and is safer than most domestic cleaners and less toxic than coffee.
Glyphosate could be described as one of the four key pillars of local agriculture – men, land, machines and glyphosate.
So why are farmers and custodians of the countryside engaged in a battle to ban glyphosate at an EU vote in December?
Regulatory bodies across the globe have studied the scientific evidence and concluded that glyphosate is unlikely to pose human health risk when used correctly.
Green lobby groups have fallen upon the banning of glyphosate and widely share their views through mainstream and social media.
The loss of glyphosate would be disastrous for farmland. Farms would revert to mechanical weeding and additional cultivation for weed control. This would damage earth worms, insects, ground nesting birds and small mammals. More tractors would be needed, burning more fuel and generating more CO2. Some farmland would be unviable.
Food costs would rise and the ability to provide enough food for our country would be questionable.
Critical, potentially disastrous decisions for our countryside must be based on science and not on emotions and untruths.