It is fervently to be hoped that the decision to continue the ban on neonicotinoids in the UK will not be detrimental to the long-term future of the sugar beet industry here. If yields of sugar beet suffer the same fate as many in 2020, then, such is the marginal profitability of this crop when yields are low, many growers will cease to grow it. Then we shall have the same situation as with oilseed rape, which was grown on 380,000 ha in 2020, about half the area that was grown in 2012 (756,000 ha), with massive changes to the look of the countryside, especially in the East. This was due to adverse consequences of the neonicotinoid ban in oilseed rape, which has resulted in an inability to control infestations of cabbage stem flea beetle. These changes on cropping practice will have much greater consequences on bees and other pollinators than the neonicotinoids that were banned to protect them. It is the law of unintended consequences, which the green lobby did not predict when promoting their controversial opinions to the politicians of Europe.
- Myzus persicae
- BMYV, BYV, BChV