EU wins backing for end to set-aside:
The European Parliament and EU Agriculture Ministers have given their formal support for European Commission plans to abolish the EU set-aside scheme. The Parliament adopted a report by its Agriculture Committee (Agrow No 538, p 14) on March 12th, while Ministers agreed a common position on the issue a week later. The Commission is due to issue formal proposals on set-aside in May as part of a review of the EU Common Agricultural Policy, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The introduction in 1992 of compulsory set-aside of 15% of arable land had a significant effect on EU pesticide sales. The rate was subsequently reduced to 10% and was cut to zero for the 2007/08 season due to low cereal stocks (Agrow No 529, p 9).