Less herbicides in the Loire and maybe in all of France, at a cost

27 appellations in the Anjou and Saumur regions in the Loire Valley have recently published their new rules and regulations. The big news is that they all now prohibit chemical weed removal. These 27 AOPs together have 18,000 hectares.

In the current climate of sustainability awareness more and more wineries reduce spraying with chemical herbicides. The alternative is to remove weed “mechanically”. Plough. In addition, France has decided that glyphosate, the active ingredient in many herbicides, Roundup not least, should be banned within two years. So, it is undeniably good to be prepared.

However, a new French report shows that many wineries will find it difficult to manage without glyphosate. It will be difficult financially for some but even those who can pay for the extra labour will have difficulties, e.g. in finding qualified tractor drivers. Some types of agriculture will probably be granted a postponement of the ban.

Read more: vitisphere

However, one should not confuse herbicides with pesticides. Herbicides remove “weed” but pesticides are used against diseases and pests. All wine producers use pesticides. That some wineries “don’t use pesticides or chemicals in the vineyard” is a myth. All spray (more or less) with pesticides.

Read: Read more on this and related issues in the book that explains what organic wine is.

Vineyard in Bordeaux with grass and grass removed

Vineyard in Bordeaux with grass and grass removed, copyright BKWine Photography

This post is also available in: Swedish

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