Tractor Protests Threaten To Drive EU’s Green Farming Policies Into Ditch

"WESTROZEBEKE, Belgium — It was the puddles of green sludge left by the tires of massive tractors in western Belgium’s industrial farmlands that drew the attention of biological engineer Ineke Maes.

The slime was destructive algae, the result of the excess of chemicals used by farmers to boost their crops, but at a high cost to nature. Maes had hoped the European Union’s environmental policies would start to make a fundamental difference by improving exhausted soils.

In recent weeks, some of those tractors moved off the land and onto the roads, blocking major cities and economic lifelines from Warsaw to Madrid and from Athens to Brussels. Farmers were demanding the reversal of some of the most progressive measures in the world to counter climate change and protect biodiversity, arguing that the rules were harming their livelihoods and strangling them with red tape."

Raf Casert reports for the Associated Press February 25, 2024.

Source: AP, 02/27/2024