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Neonicotinoids replaced in protection of oilseed crops

3.12.2018 15.37 | Published in English on 13.12.2018 at 13.19
Press release

The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) has granted authorisations by derogation for the plant protection of spring oilseed and sugarbeet. Tukes has granted an authorisation by derogation for the industrial treatment of spring rapeseed and rapeseed with Buteo Start FS 480. No authorisation by derogation has been granted for products containing neonicotinoids for the plant protection of oilseed in the next growing season. On the other hand, Tukes has granted authorisations by derogation for the sowing of sugarbeet seed treated with products containing neonicotinoids.

An authorisation by derogation has been granted to use a product known as Buteo Start FS 480 for the industrial treatment of spring rapeseed and rapeseed during the 2019 growing season. This product contains the active ingredient, flupyradifurone, and is less harmful to pollinating insects than neonicotinoids, which are restricted in the EU. Tukes has not approved products acquired for the same purpose but containing neonicotinoids that are restricted within the EU. The authorisation by derogation was granted in order to prevent damage to spring oilseed by flea beetles, because no other effective means are available.  

Tukes has also issued authorisations by derogation for the sowing of sugarbeet seed treated in this way. In another EU country, sugarbeet seed has been treated with Cruiser 600 FS SB, Gaucho WS 70 or Poncho Beta products which, as active ingredients, contain a limited level of the neonicotinoids thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid. Poncho Beta also contains beta-cyfluthrin. Pollinators are not exposed to neonicotinoids, because sugarbeet is a two-year plant which does not flower before harvesting and does not therefore attract pollinators. Also, in crop rotation sugarbeet is followed by a plant which is unattractive to pollinators.

Authorisations by derogation enable spring oilseed and sugar production to continue

Flea beetles on spring oilseed plants can damage the shoots to such an extent that only a small proportion develop to the seedling stage. An authorisation by derogation has now been granted to secure the availability of domestic oilseed, vegetable oil production and protein fodder.

In Finland, due to our northern conditions, the cultivation of almost all oilseeds is based on spring-sown crops, which are more vulnerable to damage by flea beetles than autumn-sown plants. Without an effective way of combatting flea beetles, the cultivation of spring-sown oilseeds is almost impossible in Finnish conditions, because only a small proportion of the seeds would develop into seedlings without treatment.

Treatment of sugarbeet prevents damage by heteroptera, flea beetles, mangold flies and springtails, symphilids, wire worms and millipedes. Molasses and sugarbeet pulp are byproducts of sugarbeet processing for domestic sugar production, which are used in farm-animal feed mixtures. Finland has one sugarbeet processing plant, whose production covers around 40% of the country's sugar consumption.

Prior to granting the authorisations by derogation, Tukes discussed the matter with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of the Environment.

Further information:

Neonikotinoidien käyttö rajoitetaan kasvihuoneisiin (Use of neocotinoids limited to greenhouses) (bulletin 27.4.2018)

Senior Officer Marja Suonpää, tel. +358 29 5052 092

Director Tiina Putkonen, tel. +358 29 5052 959

Email formats: [email protected]