Farmers Guradian
Topics
Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

Arable Farming Magazine

Arable Farming Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

British Farming Awards

CropTec

LAMMA 2019

New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now
Login or Register
New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now
New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now

You are viewing your 1 free article

Register now to receive 2 free articles every 7 days
Already a Member?

Login | Join us now

NFU seeks OSR neonicotinoid derogation for autumn 2016

Having secured an emergency use derogation over a limited area in 2015, the NFU is again seeking permission for emergency use of neonicotinoids in 2016, a move facing fierce opposition from environmental groups.
Neonicotinoids are banned because of concern over their impact on bee health
Neonicotinoids are banned because of concern over their impact on bee health

The NFU has again applied for a derogation to allow oilseed rape (OSR) growers to use neonicotinoid seed treatments this autumn.

 

The union is seeking emergency use of the seed treatments, which are currently banned in flowering crops at EU level because of concerns about their impact on bee health, on a ‘limited proportion’ of the OSR crop in England.

 

NFU vice president Guy Smith said the application would be specifically targeted to fields at greatest risk from cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB), Mr Smith said.

 

The NFU has surveyed its members to improve understanding of which geographical areas are currently most at risk from the pest.

 

The Government’s Expert Committee on Pesticides (ECP) will consider the application before making a recommendation to the Government, which will make the final decision. The ECP’s next meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday.

 

Assessing the evidence

Mr Smith said the decision to apply again - having secured emergency of the pesticide use over around 30,000ha in four counties in 2015 - was taken after assessing the evidence and having listened to the experiences of members this autumn.

 

Mr Smith said the damage caused by CSFB had contributed to a reduced area planted with OSR in England, which was down an estimated at 10–14 per cent down in 2015–16.

 

He said: “Farmers use all the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) when trying to protect their crops from pests, weeds and diseases and the use of plant protection products is just part of the solution.

 

“These insecticide seed treatments are effective in reducing the damage caused by the pest CSFB and prevent the destruction of an important crop, both environmentally and economically, for the arable industry.

 

“As the resilience of food production becomes more important than ever it is vital that regulation of plant protection products is based on sound science and evidence.

 

“The decreasing availability of these products to farmers is hampering UK farmers’ ability to produce the wholesome and affordable British food that shoppers in this country expect.”

 

Reckless and unnecessary

Friends of the Earth called on the Government to ‘stand up for Britain’s bees and reject the NFU’s bid to use ‘banned’ bee-harming pesticides in UK fields this spring’.

 

The environmental campaign group said allowing the pesticides to be used would be ‘reckless and unnecessary’.

 

Friends of the Earth is urging the government to refuse the application on the basis that:

 

  • Government figures show the average UK oilseed rape yield rose nearly 7 per cent last year, in the first harvest after the ban was introduced
  • Recent scientific evidence has added to the concerns about the impact of the three neonicotinoid pesticides on bees and other pollinators
  • The neonicotinoid seed treatments allowed last year may not have been effective against Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle
  • Crop losses due to Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle were lower this autumn, compared to the previous one
  • Non-chemical means of controlling pests are available to farmers

 

FoE bee campaigner Dave Timms said: “Oilseed rape yields have actually risen since the pesticide ban was introduced, while the evidence of the harm these chemicals pose to bees has increased.

 

“Bees are essential for pollinating our crops - we can’t afford to gamble with their future. The Government must keep these dangerous pesticides out of our fields.”

 

The environmental group is calling on the Chemicals Regulation Directorate to immediately publish the results of the split-field study it commissioned as a condition of the successful NFU application for neonicotinoid use last year, comparing crop losses of neonicotinoid-treated oilseed rape with untreated oilseed rape.

Defra comment

A Defra spokesperson said: "We have fully applied the restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids introduced by the EU, and we make decisions on pesticides based on the science only once the regulators are satisfied they meet safety standards for people and the environment.
“Applications are considered by the Health and Safety Executive and by the independent UK Expert Committee on Pesticides before a decision is taken by Ministers.”

Read More

Breeding for a new oilseed rape era Breeding for a new oilseed rape era
Defra rejects NFU neonicotinoid emergency use application Defra rejects NFU neonicotinoid emergency use application
Growing concern over impact of neonicotinoids on wildlife Growing concern over impact of neonicotinoids on wildlife
Major study finds correlation between neonicotinoids and bee colony losses Major study finds correlation between neonicotinoids and bee colony losses
More independent research needed to reveal true impact of neonicotinoids on bees More independent research needed to reveal true impact of neonicotinoids on bees

Twitter Facebook
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Facebook
Twitter
RSS