The use of pesticides in the EU dropped by 1% in 2020 to bring spray usage to 86% of the baseline level of the Farm to Fork strategy, meaning the EU is more than one quarter of the way to achieving its target of halving the use of sprays by 2030.

Ireland’s usage pattern mirrored that of the EU average in dropping 1% from 2019 to 2020 to take the national reduction to 76% of the baseline.

This puts Ireland ahead of the pack in reaching the 50% target laid out in the strategy.

The baseline pesticide level used as the yardstick for measuring these reductions is based off the average used in the EU over the period of 2015 to 2017.

The 2020 reduction represents the second consecutive annual decrease in pesticide usage across the EU.

Hazardous sprays

The decrease in the use of sprays listed as more hazardous by the EU has been even higher, dropping some 9% from 2019 to 2020.

Domestically, usage has moved in the opposite direction, rising by 7% over the same 12 months.

Despite this rise, Ireland has still reduced the use of hazardous sprays by 28% on the baseline levels.

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