NFU re-submits application to protect England’s OSR from flea beetle

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The NFU has submitted its revised application for the emergency use of neonicotinoid seed treatments for a more targeted area of the oilseed rape crop in England.

The application looks again at AHDB data showing cabbage stem flea beetle pressure across the country. The NFU has made some key changes to its application to answer questions from the Expert Committee on Pesticides and demonstrate to DEFRA that the application is limited and controlled.

“I cannot overstate how vital neonicotinoid seed treatments are for protecting crops facing pressure from cabbage stem flea beetle,” said NFU Vice President Guy Smith. “I am quite convinced that if next autumn we have a difficult establishment window for oilseed rape then many farmers are going to lose their crops without neonicotinoids.”

“Evidence from research institutions such as Rothamsted clearly shows we have an increasing pyrethroid resistance problem in pests and this is well-evidenced with cabbage stem flea beetle,” he said. “Farmers cannot control the pest in areas with high resistance without these critical seed treatments. Continued resistance to pyrethroids just isn’t sustainable for farm businesses.”

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