Insecticide ban to hit EU sugar beet crops, farmers say
The European Union’s decision to ban some widely used insecticides is likely to dent sugar beet production in the trading bloc, farming groups said on Thursday.
EU countries backed a proposal last week to extend a partial ban on the use of insecticides known as neonicotinoids that studies have shown are harmful to bees.
“This decision has a devastating impact on beet growing. With this ban, all French regions are likely to be affected by viral jaundice, with potential yield losses estimated at 12 pct at national level, and up to 50 pct in certain ocean climate zones,” French sugar beet growers group CGB said in a statement.
“It is a very hard blow for sugar beet growers and for the sustainability of the French and European sugar sector in general,” it said.
Yield losses were also expected in Britain.
“It is likely there will be significant impacts on sugar beet yields in the UK, exacerbated by our maritime climate that enables significant pest and disease pressure,” Michael Sly, the National Farmers Union’s sugar board chairman, said.
“As a matter of urgency, the home-grown sugar industry will now be working with the government to try and secure solutions for beet growers ahead of the 2019 crop.”
German farming association DBV president Joachim Rukwied also said the ban would have an impact on sugar beet farming.