“There is a lot of resentment”: Beauce beet growers demand compensation for the ban on neonicotinoids

Since Friday, the phone of Alexandre Pelé, president of the General Confederation of beet growers (CGB) in Center-Val de Loire, has not stopped ringing. On that day, the Court of Justice of the European Union confirmed thatno derogation was possible from the European ban on seeds treated with neonicotinoids, including in the exceptional circumstances invoked to protect beets. A judgment that led this Monday the State to reconsider the temporary authorization of neonicotinoids granted in 2021.

“We are disappointed by this decision of the government. We were promised three years of derogation. There, we find ourselves without effective treatment for our crops, ”explains the farmer who cultivates around 25 ha of beets on the border of Loiret and Eure-et-Loir.

For him as for his colleagues, the government’s decision does not pass. “Some tell us that they will reduce their areas, others are considering not planting at all,” he continues. But a month and a half before the first sowing, it will be difficult to radically change the crop rotation.

The fear of jaundice

“For me it’s too late. But next year, I do not rule out doing otherwise. There is a lot of resentment, ”comments Antoine Minard, based in Tremblay-les-Villages (Eure-et-Loir). “In addition, to the south of Paris, we are really very affected by jaundice”, adds this operator who saw his yields “halved” by the disease in 2020.

In the Pithiviers region (Loiret), Olivier Duguet, who cultivates 60 ha of beets, is counting on state support to encourage beet growers to continue producing and supplying sugar factories.

“We must not overreact. The decision is brutal, unexpected and very badly perceived, but the planters must be reassured”, he tempers. “We are asking for financial compensation without a deductible in the event of a problem, otherwise the whole industry will be destabilized. And this must be clearly announced in the coming days! »

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