An old profession, but farmers are professionals — A Finnish farmer's take on maintaining access to crop protection tools


Regulations, by their nature, are country or region specific, but they can have spillover effects into other markets. This is the case with many crop protection products between trading partners — a ban or restriction in one region can have trickle-down impacts on use and even access in another.

Many North American farmers have been watching the European market closely, as a ban on neonicotinoid products and an 11th-hour approval of glyphosate has made many wary that increased regulation or all-out bans may be on the rise here, as well.

As we’re publishing this, German media are reporting that a new deal to form Germany’s coalition government includes a move toward banning glyphosate and genetically modified crops.

These types of measures can also create new barriers for trade, as we’ve seen with durum exports to Italy, for example.

To hear first-hand how European farmers are managing within tightening access to plant protection products, CropSphere organizers invited Max Schulman, a farmer from Finland, to the Saskatoon event. Schulman is also chair of the arable crops working group for the European farmer organization Copa-Cogeca.

In the interview below, Kelvin Heppner asks Schulman about the challenges of farming in Europe, how the neonic and glyphosate examples are just the tip of the iceberg, and why it’s so important that farmers be seen as professional, responsible, technologically-advanced citizens

“We are an old profession, but not old fashioned,” Schulman says, on the topic of maintaining access to crop protection products.

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