Beet production drops, plant diseases threaten comeback following EU’s neonicotinoid ban, farmers say

Root Crop Agricultural Sugar Beet Bite
Root Crop Agricultural Sugar Beet Bite

Two weeks after Acor started the new beet reception campaign at the milling plant in Olmedo (Valladolid), field inspections continue to confirm the “delay” of the crop in a “complicated” year. Miguel Ángel Catalán, director of the cooperative’s agronomic service …. emphasized that plant disease and excessive heat in September are to blame.

The challenge at this moment, he says, is “to keep the plant in good health,” which is especially difficult this season because fungal attacks are more virulent. Humidity and mild temperatures are causing a higher incidence of leaf diseases, especially cercospora, which is not easy to control.

Farmers continue to worry about the impact of Europe’s prohibition on neonicotinoid pesticides, used to treat the beet seed …. Affected communities and industry “are mobilized” to achieve a moratorium that allows continued use of the seed treatments, at least for the the next “two or three growing seasons.”

Related article:  Viewpoint: No, wild bees haven't been decimated by neonicotinoids, glyphosate

The sector insists that currently “there are no alternatives,” pointing out that prohibiting neonicotinoids would pose a serious threat to crops. Therefore, they trust that “common sense will prevail.”

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in Spanish. This summary was prepared with Google Translate and edited for clarity.

Read full, original article: A beet campaign with less production than a year ago

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