Pesticide resistance in Danish arable crops may increase
following the introduction of a new tax system aimed at
reducing the use of harmful products according to a Danish
The changes in taxes in Denmark were outlined by Lise Nistrup
Jorgensen, senior scientist in the Department of Agroecology
at Aarhus University, Denmark, at the Foundation for Arable
Research's arable research in action field day at Chertsey
Since 1996, a value added tax system for pesticides had been
applied in Denmark. Since 1998, the tax had been 33% for
herbicides, fungicides and growth regulators and 50% for
A new indicator called pesticide load had been developed
recently for ranking the potential impact of pesticides on
health and the environment. Since July, this had replaced the
former value-based tax, Mrs Jorgensen said.
The Danish Government had asked for a 40% reduction in the
pesticide load per hectare by 2015, based on substitutions by
less harmful products.
As certain pesticide groups would be favoured by the new tax
system, it was expected that the system could lead to more
problems related to pesticide resistance.
Overall, the system would motivate farmers to minimise
chemical use as much as economically feasible.
Mrs Jorgensen said there were severe fines for farmers found
to be breaking the law.
She said Danish farmers did not use as much pesticide as
neighbouring countries but it was driven by economics rather
that government measures.
''It's driven by more money in the pocket by the end of the
Asked if there had been any change in the acreage of crops
because of the pesticide strategy, Mrs Jorgensen said there
had been no increase in winter wheat or spring malting
The only change was that there was more maize grown for
cattle feed, with beet being replaced with maize.
The requirement to provide a buffer zone around waterways had
led to much discussion around compensation for landowners,
By Maureen Bishop.