Don’t get me wrong. I fully recognise the current need for Irish tillage and grassland farmers to use the herbicide. The fact is there is no viable alternative currently on the market.
But is this not the core issue? Surely our farming leaders should be telling the agrochemical companies that it is time for them to come up with a more bio-friendly glyphosate alternative. And this work must start now.
Simply repeating the mantra that all the scientific evidence points to glyphosate being a totally safe product gets the farming industry so far.
The public at large is sceptical about the use of glyphosate. And they are not going to change their minds.
Monsanto first identified the use of glyphosate as a herbicide almost 50 years ago. Since then, an entire revolution in crop management has been rolled-out on the back of GM maize and soya varieties that are glyphosate-tolerant.
Taking such a stance now might also make it easier to get the current re-authorisation further extended, should this need to be the case in 2022.
But to take the view that we simply hold what we have now, and not contemplate change for the future, is an act of total folly.
At the end of the day, consumers will ultimately have their way when it comes to the future use of glyphosate. And Irish agriculture should wake up to this reality.
Read full, original article: It’s time to come up with a glyphosate alternative