This insecticide, banned since 2018 in Europe, was able to benefit from a derogation in France when the beet harvests had been impacted by an early attack of aphids.

As the beet season draws to a close, Alexandre Quillet is relieved because his harvest is good. Nothing to do with that of last year. “When I sow beets, I sow to make 100 tons. The good year makes 110, the bad one I make 90. Last year I made 58. It was a disaster“, he recalls. As a reminder, 2020 was a black year for growers who suffered early aphid attacks, turning the leaves yellow before dropping them.

And if farmers are enraged, it is because since 2018, their best weapon against this scourge has been banned in Europe. “As long as we do not have alternative solutions, we will not be able to do without neonicotinoids if we want to be sure of having a normal result.“, warns the producer and president of the Eure beet union.”There are already alternatives with the installation of hedges, grass strips, with longer rotations, with reduced doses of the products that are made.“, retorts Thibault Leroux, responsible for agriculture France Nature Environment for whom”it is not acceptable to obtain a new exemption on all beet areas in FranceThis derogation should be enacted this Sunday, after a public consultation which has lasted for several months.

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