Blog: A grown-up debate on neonicotinoids

August 31, 2015

From: NFU | The Voice of British Farming

A new study has been released on the impacts of neonicotinoids. NFU pollinator expert Chris Hartfield discusses the results.


In terms of the positives, the study shows how using neonicotinoid seed treatments significantly reduces farmers’ use of foliar insecticide sprays (by about 25%). This is an important finding because, across a dataset covering about 73,000 ha, it shows how use of targeted seed treatments results in fewer pesticide sprays and in principle this should be better for the environment.

There’s currently significant interest in this year’s ‘neonicotinoid-free’ oilseed rape yields. This study importantly shows how neonicotinoid use results in yield increases. With a dataset covering 47,000 ha, this evidence shows clear and significant benefits to UK oilseed rape yields as a result of neonicotinoid use. The benefits aren’t in every single year, but enough to be convincing as to the value of using neonicotinoids. 

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