Parliamentary report describes the puzzle of phasing out glyphosate


The government has posted a goal of "out of the main uses on January 1, 2021, and all uses on January 1, 2023".

The World with AFP Posted today at 17h10, updated at 17h48

Time to Reading 2 min.

How will the gradual elimination of glyphosate, definitively planned by the French government by 2023, be carried out? It will be difficult to keep everywhere in the current state of knowledge, and will be expensive for farmers, says a parliamentary report commissioned by the government.

The parliamentary mission charged to evaluate the plan of exit of the glyphosate – of which Agence-France Presse obtained a copy of the report before its presentation to the press envisaged Wednesday – judge "Unconscious to wait until December 31, 2020" to know "What cultural situations" will have to stop using the herbicide onst January 2021 and those who can benefit from a delay. It therefore asks the State to specify rapidly which crops "Will benefit from a derogation" 2021, by June 2020 at the latest.

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Between 50 and 150 euros of charges per hectare

In its conclusions, the "Joint information mission on the follow-up of the glyphosate exit strategy"led by MEPs Jean-Luc Fugit (LREM) and Jean-Baptiste Moreau (LRM), further emphasizes that "Transition" will have a "Substantial cost". Labor costs (€ 12.7 million overtime), fuel consumption multiplied by three or four (€ 87 million), investment in new equipment and growth of expenditure in other products chemical: the removal of this cheap herbicide will increase the costs of farms between 50 and 150 euros per hectare, according to the report.

Consequences ? The costs of producing wheat would increase by 10 euros per tonne, according to these projections. Alternative weed control techniques – additional tractor and machine runs – would also emit an additional 226,000 tonnes of CO2, according to the general association of AGPB grain producers cited in the report.

Three dead ends

Members also point to several cases where the only alternative to glyphosate is to destroy weeds by hand, which they call "Deadlock" the investment in labor would then be unsustainable. The case most "Sensitive" is concerned with farms engaged in soil conservation agriculture without tillage, which absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere. But this technique requires the occasional use of a herbicide each fall to clean the plots before sowing.

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The report also indicates sloping crops (vines, etc.) that are difficult to cultivate mechanically. "Intermediate areas" on soils that are difficult to work and not very productive. According to the Arvalis Technical Institute, quoted in the report, "The ban on glyphosate would destabilize these farms to the point of threatening their survival".

Third impasse: crops intended for specific markets that impose very restrictive specifications, such as seed production, which uses 8 tons of glyphosate per year for 380 000 hectares in France, flax production, including France is the world's largest producer, and finally that of fresh vegetables and canned grown in the open field (203,560 hectares) that can not afford the slightest toxic datura, a plant that grows near the fields and can contaminate the harvest.

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Asked Sunday on this report, the Minister of the ecological transition, Elisabeth Borne, affirmed that the government "Remains committed to getting out of glyphosate. I confirm that the goal is to get out of the main uses on January 1, 2021, and all uses on January 1, 2023 ", she said in the political program of France Inter, France Televisions and The world.

"I think we have some first courses that will probably do it faster than others. The President of the Republic had said, we want to have the first viticulture zero glyphosate and I think they are taking action to ensure that this is the case. "

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