EU neonic insecticide ban cut UK canola production from 1.8 million acres to 1.3 million annually

neonics canola
What canola fields really look like without neonics: Left has not been treated, while the right has. Credit: Gregory Sekulic, Canola Council of Canada Agronomy Specialist)

In 2012, U.K. farmers seeded about 1.8 million acres of oilseed rape [canola]. But over the last eight years, acreage consistently dropped, sinking to 1.3 million in 2019 and possibly 1.04 million in 2020.

One large reason for the decline is neonicotinoids. Rather, the lack of neonics in the U.K., says a Syngenta rep. “Since we lost neonic seed treatments we are struggling, really struggling, to grow oilseed rape,” said Scott Cockburn, business manager with Syngenta U.K.

In 2013, the European Commission banned the use of thiamethoxam, a Syngenta product, along with clothianidin and imidacloprid, Bayer products. The ban applied to flowering crops like oilseed rape. Europe imposed the restrictions because of a potential risk to bees.

[Editor’s note: Read Are neonicotinoid seed treatments critical for protecting crops—or unnecessary, with potential to harm bees?]

Related article:  Neonicotinoid insecticide ban, poor weather cut EU canola harvest area to 13-year low, USDA finds

Some environmental groups have argued that …. oilseed rape yields have remained steady since the neonic ban. That doesn’t tell the whole story, Cockburn said …. [T]housands of seeded acres go unharvested, every year, because of severe insect damage.

In 2017, researchers from Newcastle University reached the same conclusion. “The U.K. oilseed rape area has fallen from a peak of …. 1.87 million acres …. in 2011-12 …. An increased incidence of damage caused by cabbage stem flea beetle is being reported as a major reason for this decline following the ban on the use of neonicotinoid dressed seed.”

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
ft covidresponseus feature

Video: Viewpoint: The US wrote the global playbook on the coronavirus and then ignored it

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend