Farmers who have more than 15 ha of arable farmland will have to satisfy ecologically important issues for 5% of the arable land as of January 1, 2018. Pesticides will be banned in the following ecologically important areas:
• Fallow land (during six months up to July 15);
• Areas with several crops (8 weeks during the “maintenance” period between September 1 and October 31);
• Grasslands after the harvesting of the main crops;
• Areas that have crops which absorb nitrogen (during the growth period when the crop is still on the field).
Area limitations are repealed if a territory is to be declared as being of ecological importance:
• Groups of growing trees, bushes and shrubbery or piles of rocks;
• Edges of fields and buffer areas;
• Ditches (which will be declared as ecologically important areas, which means that each metre of the ditch will ensure ten square metres of ecologically important areas irrespective of how wide the ditch is);
• Ponds (with authorisation to declare larger areas of ponds that are larger than 0.1 ha, though only the part of the pond that does not exceed 0.3 ha will be considered to be ecologically important areas).
As if January 1, 2018, there will be a smaller number of parishes in which farmers are free of the requirements related to ecologically important areas.