By James Garner

FARMERS have more scope to buy cheaper pesticides from the Continent following a court ruling last week.

The ruling stated that imports no longer have to be identical to products used in the UK.

The Court of Appeal decision means the Pesticide Safety Directorate can now grant licenses for products that are “broadly similar” in formulation on both sides of the Channel.

NFU vice-president Michael Paske said: “The decision will remove unnecessary obstacles that have prevented farmers and growers from sourcing the most effective and best-priced products for the job.”

Howard Hancock, of the Chemical Regulatory Services, which deals with chemical registrations worldwide, reckons the ruling is good for farmers.

“The UK pesticide market is undeniably overpriced – by up to 30%.”

John Evans, head of technical development at Syngenta, says: “For products that are nearly the same, the ruling makes sense, but not all products will be cheaper.”