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Risk of yellows: the government authorizes the increased use of an insecticide by beet growers

The Minister Delegate to the Minister of Agriculture Agnès Pannier-Runacher announced on Friday an exemption for beet growers to use more of an insecticide to fight against aphids responsible for yellows disease, which is very damaging to sugar production.

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Risk of yellows: the government authorizes the increased use of an insecticide by beet growers

The Minister Delegate to the Minister of Agriculture Agnès Pannier-Runacher announced on Friday an exemption for beet growers to use more of an insecticide to fight against aphids responsible for yellows disease, which is very damaging to sugar production. “This year, beet growers will now be able to make up to 5 passes of Movento” instead of “2 passes today,” said Ms. Pannier-Runacher, interviewed on the France Bleu Nord channel.

Due to a mild winter, the risk of beet yellows caused by aphid bites is presented as very high. Beet producers, mainly located in the Nord and Pas-de-Calais, currently in the middle of the planting season, were worried. They will therefore now be able to “first make three passes, and if the aphid is still present, two more,” indicated Agnès Pannier-Runacher about Movento (spirotetramate).

The use of Movento can be done in addition to the spreading of another insecticide, Teppeki (flonicamide). The minister defended herself from making a compromise on public health, judging that pesticides which had a “proven impact on public health” were already banned. Since 2023, neonicotinoids, bee-killing pesticides, also used to combat beet yellows, have been banned in France. A ban decided at European level, which had aroused the anger of farmers, due to a lack of sufficient alternatives.

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