Copper exempt from No Treatment Zone

Copper exempt from No Treatment Zone

In accordance with ministerial announcements, the application of copper pesticides will not be subject to safe distances between vine rows and dwellings for this treatment season.

Sigh of relief in the French vineyard, organic as well as conventional. The government* has just, in instructions sent on February 3rd to the prefects, dissipated the pea purée which has been weighing since the beginning of the year on the exclusion, or not, of copper pesticides from the new system of No Treatment Zones between plots and neighbours (ZNT riparian). "The products for which the Marketing Authorization (MA) does not include a safety distance and which can be used without the safety distances provided for by the decree of 27 December 2019 are the biocontrol products that appear on the list drawn up by the Minister of Agriculture, as well as the products authorized in the context of organic farming (products listed in the Guide to crop protection products for use in Organic Agriculture)" announce the implementation elements consulted by Vitisphere.

After weeks of vagueness, "the ministry clearly states that organic products are exempt from riparian ZNT. Unless the WMA mentions a safety distance" summarizes Cécile Blanc, in charge of viticulture for the National Federation of Organic Agriculture. "This exemption notably concerns the use of copper. But it should be noted that a product based on copper hydroxide does however include the risk phrase H 331 [toxic by inhalation] which results in an incompressible ZNT of 20 metres," adds the technician, who stresses the positive progress of this text.

"Reassuring instruction"

"This instruction is reassuring and sheds light on many points. In the specific case of copper, and more widely of AB approved products, it remains essential to see their fate settled in a text with a more important and irremovable legal scope than instructions", says Alexandre Imbert, the director of the Union Générale des Viticulteurs pour l'appellation Cognac (UGVC, which recommends a restrictive reading of the ZNT system as a precautionary measure).

Within FranceVinBio, "we are confident that the Ministry will continue its momentum and make an even greater commitment on the issue, also responding positively to our requests concerning smoothing, which is still uncertain" confirms Gwénaëlle le Guillou, the director of the union of organic winegrowers in New Aquitaine. Who remains however satisfied to see the fuzziness on the copper lifting: "at last! This text offers a clear perspective and confirms the path of organic viticulture for changes in practices, in a better respect for the environment and people. »

"Legal insecurity"

Expected by both organic and conventional winegrowers, this clarification does not, however, resolve all the questions about the implementation of the ZNTs this treatment campaign. Denouncing a context of "uncertainty about the modalities and legal insecurity for farmers", the Confédération Générale de l'Agriculture du Vaucluse asks for a moratorium until the time to specify "the list of products with incompressible distances of 20 meters [notably endocrine disruptors], the list of materials with the levels of drift reduction to 90% [only those at 60% are at present] and the evolution of the measures concerning the zones hosting vulnerable groups of people".

* : The "questions/answers" concerned are sent by the Ministries of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, Health, Agriculture and Economy.

photo credit : gaviwineland


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