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Plant protection concept for steep slopes adopted

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The Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Viticulture has authorised plant protection by helicopter and drone in the steep slopes of the Moselle. In doing so, it has rejected the Federal Environment Agency's plans to ban plant protection by helicopter in some vineyard sites on the terraced Moselle. Conservationists had campaigned last year for the Apollo butterfly, which is native to the Moselle and is allegedly threatened by helicopter plant protection. According to the Ministry of Viticulture, however, it is the cultivation of vineyards that creates the conditions for habitats for the Apollo butterfly, which hardly occurs in scrub-covered landscapes.

"It was important to me that there was legal certainty as early as possible," said Rhineland-Palatinate Minister of Viticulture Daniela Schmitt. For the authorised and already approved fungicides, there will be no new requirements for aerial application. There will be new notifications for the newly authorised products. The protection concept presented was eagerly awaited by the steep slope winegrowers on the Moselle, as they have to plan the coming season promptly.

However, the lack of alternatives to sulphur and copper in organic viticulture is still a problem for the butterfly. "This area must also be discussed at EU level in the future, not least with regard to the authorisation of potassium phosphonate," concluded Daniela Schmitt, Minister of Viticulture.

(ru / press release)

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