UK government approves the use for neonicotinoids for sugar beets

The UK government approved on Jan. 8 the industry's application for the emergency authorization of neonicotinoids on sugar beets for the 2021 season, according to the government's website.

It is reported by S&P Global Platts.

This will address the threat of the virus yellows on the 2021 sugar beet crop, with the government stating that the protection provided by neonics cannot be "provided by any other reasonable means".

The sugar industry had been eagerly awaiting this news, with one source expressing concerns earlier this week that any further delays to the announcement would delay the arrival of seeds, push planting back and cause losses in yield potential. Many growers had been holding off making planting decisions in anticipation of the news and total sugar beet acreage for 2021 is still unclear.

Prior to the news, one participant said "a poor UK crop without neonics and a successful French crop [due to the ban on neonics being lifted] would be disastrous for the UK industry". One participant added, "it's impossible to compete internationally when you don't have the same regulatory environment".

The UK's 2020 crop suffered from a high incidence of virus yellows due to the ban on neonics and warmer than usual weather.