Spectre of EU set-aside returns
Plans to re-introduce a requirement for EU farmers to leave part of their arable land fallow in order to receive subsidies have been criticised by members of the European Parliament. A compulsory 7% set-aside rate is included in the European Commission’s proposed reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), issued in October. The first introduction of 15% set-aside in 1992 had a significant impact on pesticide sales. The rate was reduced in subsequent years and finally abolished in 2008 in response to low grain stocks and high prices ( Agrow No 547, p 9).