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All recent news from British Sugar

Rothamsted Virus Yellows Forecast

1 March 2023

Attributable to Dan Green, Agriculture Director, British Sugar:

“Today the independent Rothamsted Virus Yellows model triggered the need to use the neonicotinoid seed coating for this season. This seed treatment is necessary to protect the UK sugar beet crop and farmer livelihoods from the very high Virus Yellows forecast for 2023. The emergency authorisation contains strict controls to protect wildlife, including restrictions on using the treatment near any flowering crops.

“The British beet industry continues to invest in finding alternative solutions through ourVirus Yellows Pathway’. With NFU Sugar and the British Beet Research Organisation, we are looking at grower practices, seed breeding programmes and precision breeding through gene editing as a long-term solution to tackle this disease.”




Notes to editors:

1. The Rothamsted Virus Yellows forecast was published today, predicting a national Virus Yellows infection of 67.51% for 30th March 2023.

2. This percentage of predicted national Virus Yellows infection is above the level of 63% set out by Defra in its emergency authorisation to trigger the permitted use of Cruiser SB on the 2023 sugar beet crop. This threshold was increased from 19% in 2022.