Farmers set landmark with management plan

The Voluntary Initiative's integrated pest-management plan (IPMP) is set to cover more than two million hectares in its first year.

The plan was developed by the NFU for the Voluntary Initiative to help farmers demonstrate to regulators and farm assurance schemes that they are adopting an integrated approach to weed, pest and disease control. Another option for farmers is to use the LEAF sustainable farming review.

Initiative chairman Richard Butler said: "In under a year, this is a tremendous performance and shows yet again UK farmers' preference for the voluntary approach and their willingness to follow best practice."

He added: "I would urge all farmers to have a go. The online plan is easy to use and will help farmers make the most of integrated pest management, improving their overall pest control, and benefit their own business as well as the environment."

The plan is available at The plan currently covers 1.74 million hectares - IPMP: 1.39 million; LEAF sustainable farming review: 0.35 million.

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