26 June 1998

No pesticide goal

THERE are plenty of ways other than taxes to minimise pesticide use, but no set goal for the industry, according to ADAS arable technical manager James Clarke.

"It would be helpful to know where we are trying to move to," he says. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the way crops are grown, he adds. "But few people generally understand what pesticides are or why they are used."

A key aim at Boxworth is to improve the robustness of no-spray decisions. Better records of when spraying is avoided and the reasons why could help allay consumers environmental worries about modern production systems, he suggests. &#42

Farmers must adjust to consumer demand, says James Clark. But the goals, especially on cutting pesticides, need specifying.