All recent news from British Sugar

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All recent news from British Sugar


Neonicotinoid seed treatment not required due to low Virus Yellows levels prediction

3 March 2021


We are pleased to confirm that, following a very cold January and February, the well-established Rothamsted model is predicting very low levels of Virus Yellows in the crop for 2021. Predicting around 1/10th of the virus levels of last year this is below economic trigger level of 9% with first aphid flights likely to be 6 weeks later as well. With a predication of 8.3% (without any controls), the trigger was not met and we will not be treating the sugar beet seed with Cruiser SB this year.

It is welcome that the emergency situation that our industry saw in 2020 is not likely to be repeated in 2021. Growing the crop without the neonicotinoid seed treatment as a result of the freezing weather is the best outcome.

The application for emergency use of the seed treatment was just that – we committed to only treat the seed if the risk to the crop was significant. We have followed the science, using a proven model that has been in place for over 55 years, and minimised impact where possible. We will continue to work to progress our plans to tackle Virus Yellows without the need for neonicotinoids in future years.

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