The NFU says it has secured the emergency use ofneonicotinoid seed treatments providing much needed protection from the pestcabbage stem flea beetle for five per cent of the oilseed rape crop in Englandamounting to around 30,000ha.
The products which farmers will be able to haveaccess to are Modesto (Bayer) and Cruiser OSR (Syngenta). The emergency use hasbeen granted for 120 days. Discussions on the logistics of distributing theseed are underway.
NFU Vice President Guy Smith said: The NFU hasworked relentlessly to submit a robust application and were glad to finallysee a positive result. However, we know that this isnt enough flea beetlethreat is a widespread problem on a national scale and the extremely limitednature of this authorisation is unfortunately not going to help the vastmajority of farmers in need of the protection.
We will ensure that this approval is made the mostof, both logistically and through the detailed monitoring of the crop foruseful data. We will also call on Defra to contribute to solutions for the manyfarmers whose crops are significantly threatened by flea beetle but will nothave access to these products.
NFU combinable crops board chairman Mike Hamblysaid: The principle of this authorisation is the point we need to focus on;the Government has recognised the problem and has given a restricted number offarmers a solution, which is better than no solution at all. However, manyfarmers who are persevering with oilseed rape will have already committed toseed orders and the possibilities of getting the seed appropriately dressedacross the range of varieties available is verging on impossible.
We will now look to work with the regulatorstowards more efficient authorisations after the arduous process we have beenthrough to get to this point.