In light of the rejection of their emergency use application last spring to use neonicotinoid seed dressings on autumn oilseed rape crop, the British National Farmers’ Union is reviewing the way ahead.
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…NFU vice-president Guy Smith said many farmers suffered huge losses owing to flea beetle attacks last year, so the case for an emergency use derogation for banned neonics was strong.
“The NGOs and ministers were doubting the need for neonics but this autumn quite clearly showed there was one,” he added. “In addition, we need to bear in mind pyrethroid resistance gathers pace every year and reliance on just one insecticide exacerbates the problem going forward.
“There are serious question marks over the future of oilseed rape production in the UK because of the drip, drip loss of key actives. We desperately need more R&D into non-chemical solutions.”
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The EU banned neonicotinoids from use on flowering crops, including sunflowers, barley and oilseed rape in 2013 after studies linked their use to a decline in bee health.
Since the ban, flea beetle resistance to pyrethroid insecticide sprays is said to have increased across the UK.
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