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England could be set for its lowest rapeseed area since 2009 with forward prices too low to justify the increasing risks of growing the crop, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) said on [March 7].
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“Market conditions continue to challenge the economics of the whole rotation, but especially oilseed rape which shows the largest declines year on year,” AHDB senior analyst Helen Plant said in a news release.
“While still an important break crop, the fall in area shows the increasing risks of growing oilseed rape are outweighing the potential benefits,” she added.
Analysts have said the shift away from rapeseed has been driven partly by problems with cabbage stem flea beetles linked to curbs on the use of a class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids. The EU restricted their use to protect bees.
“Unless spring plantings (of rapeseed) are higher than in the last two years, this sets England up for the lowest oilseed rape area since 2009,” AHDB said.
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