National Action Plan on the Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products

The objective of the National Action Plan on the Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products is to further reduce the risks associated with the use of pesticides.

The National Action Plan on the Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products is based on the current legal situation regarding plant protection. The legal framework is very comprehensive, including pesticide approvals which give users clear rules on product handling and application, stipulations on the quality and safety of crop protection equipment and on the expertise that product users must possess, and supplementary requirements set out in the German Plant Protection Act, the German Best Practice Code on Crop Protection and other areas of the law.

The measures focus on promoting innovation in plant protection and the development of methods for integrated crop protection. This will be complemented by appropriate measures implemented and funded by the Federal Government and the Länder. The Federal Government and the Länder provide resources within the scope of their remit. The measures include:

  • Support for the development of procedures to limit the risks in plant protection (research in the field of integrated plant protection and plant protection in organic farming);
  • Introduction of new technologies into farming practice;
  • Compliance with quantity limits when using pesticides;
  • Guidelines on integrated plant protection for specific crops and sectors;
  • Development of practical directions for use as part of the approval process for plant protection products;
  • Recommended usage or usage restrictions for certain pesticides;
  • Use of pesticides on non-agricultural land (including municipal areas and railway lines);
  • Plant protection in private gardens and allotments (for instance improved availability of information on plant protection, especially about non-chemical plant protection measures; survey of plant protection in private gardens and allotments);
  • Improvement of expertise and information (consolidating the expert knowledge for users, consultants and dealers; improvement of official plant protection advisory services);
  • Improving safety for users and uninvolved third parties;
  • Compliance with the provisions of plant protection (control programme for plant protection; measures against illegal trafficking in plant protection products);
  • Measures in the area of food safety (reduction of violations of the Maximum Residue Limits (MRL); multiple residues);
  • Measures in the area of water protection (expansion of knowledge base and better protection of water bodies; prevention of plant protection products from entering the surface water);
  • Conservation of biological diversity.

The National Action Plan's target achievement is assessed using a set of indicators and reference data. All the indicators chosen are relevant to the aims of the National Action Plan and allow the level of target achievement (and thus the success of the Action Plan's measures) to be evaluated.

In collaboration with the Länder, the Julius Kühn Institute has compiled and published a report about the National Action Plan from 2008 and its effects from 2008 to 2011. (This report can be viewed by following the link to Open Agrar under this article.)

Pilot project on "Demonstration farms for integrated plant protection”

An important measure in reducing the risks associated with plant protection is the practical implementation of integrated plant protection methods. The BMEL's pilot project on "Demonstration farms for integrated plant protection" is part of this implementation. The pilot project has been running since 2011 and currently supports 66 farms with practical test phases of up to 5 harvesting years in arable farming, apple growing, viticulture, field vegetable and hop production in the states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia. The pilot project is supervised by the Julius Kühn Institute (JKI) and the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE).

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