Neonicotinoid ban continuing to devastate oilseed rape crops – NFU

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Farmers across the country are continuing to suffer heavy losses through oilseed rape crop damage following restrictions to the availability of neonicotinoids, the NFU said today.

This has resulted in an emergency use application by the NFU to allow farmers to use seed treatments in rapeseed this autumn being submitted to Government.

NFU Vice President Guy Smith said: “Since last autumn we have heard from hundreds of our members growing oilseed rape that establishing the crop has become far more difficult and expensive, if not impossible, without neonicotinoid seed dressing.

“Because of this we want the authorities to allow farmers to use the seed treatments they need to make growing oilseed rape viable. Similar applications are being made elsewhere in the EU and, of course, neonicotinoids continue to be used by oilseed rape growers across the world.

“One of our fundamental demands in our Healthy Harvest campaign is British farmers having the access to the same crop production toolbox as their competitors abroad.”

NFU combinable crops board chairman Mike Hambly said: “It has already been increasingly difficult for arable farmers to control problems like cabbage stem flea beetle* and turnip yellows virus (spread by peach potato aphids) as well as many weed species such as blackgrass due to the reduced number of products available for control and resistance developing against those products that remain.

“The problem will only get worse if more products go, with vast ‘unintended’ consequences for farmers and wider society.”

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