How contradictory EU policies led to the development of a pest: the story of oilseed rape and the cabbage stem flea beetle

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Ortega-Ramos, P., Cook, S. M. and Mauchline, A. L. 2022. How contradictory EU policies led to the development of a pest: the story of oilseed rape and the cabbage stem flea beetle. GCB Bioenergy. 14 (3), pp. 258-266. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12922

AuthorsOrtega-Ramos, P., Cook, S. M. and Mauchline, A. L.
Abstract

Oilseed rape can be used to produce biodiesel which can substitute non-renewable fuels for transport. In the early 2000s, the EU introduced a series of policies and market-based incentives to encourage the production of biofuels in order to meet their obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This led to a large increase in the area of oilseed rape grown across Europe with a simultaneous rise in insect pests which were largely controlled by synthetic insecticides. However, the withdrawal of neonicotinoid seed treatments in 2013 and the development of insecticide resistance in key insect pests led to crop failures and significant yield losses. Integrated Pest Management approaches could have prevented this pest problem, however the lack of support and clear financial mechanisms for the enforcement of the 2009 Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive meant that the cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB; Psylliodes chrysocephala) has become a serious pest and the area of oilseed rape grown is now falling sharply leading to the need for imports. We suggest that it is imperative for Integrated Pest Management approaches to now become written into new EU and UK policies and to incentivise the development of tools required for implementation and use by farmers.

KeywordsBiofuels; Transport; Insect pest; Brassica napus; Psylliodes chrysocephala; Integrated pest management; Sustainable agriculture; Sustainable use of pesticides
Year of Publication2022
JournalGCB Bioenergy
Journal citation14 (3), pp. 258-266
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12922
Web address (URL)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/gcbb.12922
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeASSIST - Achieving Sustainable Agricultural Systems
Publisher's version
Accepted author manuscript
Supplemental file
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online19 Jan 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted13 Oct 2021
PublisherWiley
ISSN1757-1707

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