Neonics are back in the news.
Two days ago the BBC reported on how flea beetles were feeding on the newly planted autumn sown Oil Seed Rape, and farmers were interviewed weeping and wringing their hands, saying the end of food production as we know it was nigh. It sounded very much like it was the NFU that had been pushing the Beeb to run a piece on the flea beetle blighters. It was not a balanced piece – the only person put up to counter the views of the farmers was Dave Goulson, the Bumble Bee man. He pointed out that damage at this time of year cannot be used to predict the success of the final crop.
Today Defra has announced that two Neonic sprays have been licenced for use on – yes you guessed it – Autumn sown Oil Seed Rape.
Anyone who might have been expecting the NFU’s influence at Defra to have been reduced, with the changing of the guard from Owen Paterson to Liz Truss, can relax again. Ms Truss’ constituency is North West Norfolk, with plenty of influential farmers to advise her.