Glyphosate use has facilitated change in farming practices. By controlling a broad spectrum of weeds including their entire root systems, glyphosate has eliminated or reduced the need for ploughing of soils. These reduced tillage practices allow farmers to plant crop seeds directly into stubble fields.
A large proportion of Europe’s cultivated land is prone to soil erosion and minimal soil disturbance practices are sustainable alternatives that help to protect soil from degradation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. Several important crops in Europe are predominantly managed with these practices in combination with glyphosate-based products, making glyphosate an important tool for farmers in pursuing soil conservation practices.
Training for a responsible use provided by extension services and by industry plays an important role in advising and educating farmers about best practices. In addition, a crucial element of product stewardship is the development of clear label instructions which outline measures to reduce water contamination risks.
The FAO/WHO International Code of Conduct for the Distribution and Use of Pesticides sets out the principles of product stewardship which are required in order to protect human health and the environment, while improving the productivity, sustainability and livelihoods of farmers.