EU farmers ‘fed up’ with rapeseed as neonicotinoid insecticide ban, dry weather cripple crop yields

Screen Shot at PM
Bees pollinating oilseed rape crops.

Rapeseed, easily spotted with its bright yellow flowers in summer, is used for meal and oil in products ranging from biofuel to mayonnaise. Prices are trading at the highest for this time of year since 2013, after Europe collected its smallest crop in 13 seasons. European Union bans on certain pesticides have increased the threat of insect attacks, and farmers have been plagued by dry weather in recent years.

High prices typically lure farmers to increase plantings. Yet the difficulties growing rapeseed may lessen the appeal as sowing kicks off across Europe for the 2020 crop. EU growers have struggled to control pests since a ban on neonicotinoids, insecticides linked to harming bees. The EU banned some neonicotinoids in 2013 for use on rapeseed, sunflowers and corn, and last year widened restrictions to usage everywhere except greenhouses.

Related article:  Radar and robots: Can technology turn honeybees into more efficient pollinators?

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Parts of France are facing a dry spell as the planting period begins, similar to last year, said Nathan Cordier, a grains and oilseed analyst at Paris-based adviser Agritel. While it’s still early, that may limit acreage gains in the EU’s top producer, he said.

“Farmers are reluctant to plant a crop that’s going to be eaten”

Read full, original article: EU Farmers Are Getting Fed Up With Rapeseed as Bugs Chew Crops

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