The French Crop Protection Association (UIPP) published the balance of the quantities of plant protection products sold for distribution for the year 2018. It noted an increase of 8% in the quantities of active ingredients contained in the products sold in France. This increase is mainly explained by an anticipation of purchases by farmers before the increase in the diffuse pollution charge (RPD), which came into force on January 1, 2019, and by an increase in the sale of sulfur and copper. The decline in the use of plant protection products has continued over a long period, with a drop of more than 40% in 20 years.
A marked downward trend over the past 20 years
Weather conditions and pest pressures can vary significantly from year to year. This is why it is essential to analyze the trends in the use of plant protection products over a long period. In 20 years, the quantities of active ingredients used have dropped dramatically. In 1999, around 120,000 tonnes were purchased by distributors compared to 68,000 tonnes in 2018.
A constant increase in the share of biocontrol products in volume
Since 2010, the share of biocontrol plant protection products has continued to grow, while that of conventional products has declined. In 2017, 23.7% of the volumes sold corresponded to biocontrol products.
“Plant protection companies constantly respond to the demand from farmers engaged in the agroecological transition. The market is gradually shifting toward the greater use of biocontrol plant protection products. We clearly see a fundamental trend confirmed over the past 10 years,” said Bruno Baranne, president of UIPP.
Quantities sold up 8% year on year
In 2018, sales to distributors increased by 8% compared to 2017. The change in the system for calculating the fee for RPD led to a significant increase in the latter, and consequently, an increase in the prices of plant protection products for farmers, which led them to anticipate their purchases at the end of 2018. This phenomenon had already been observed during the previous increases in RPD in 2008 and 2015.
The "tonnage of active ingredients" data comes from annual declarations by members of the UIPP, which represent, by value, 96% of the French market for plant protection products for agricultural use. They relate to the quantities of active ingredients contained in the products purchased by distributors on behalf of farmers. The “share of biocontrol” data comes from an analysis by the BNVD (National Bank for Sales of Distribution) with the list of biocontrol products from the DGAL on May 16, 2019.