Do Farmers, Bees And The Environment A Favour, Liz Truss

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Dear Liz Truss


1.   According to The National Institute of Agricultural Botany, 50% of agronomists who advise farmers on ‘crop pest threat’ and insecticides, receive a financial incentive from the agrichemicals industry (1).

2.   According to data from ADAS, between 1988 and 2006, many farmers treated crops for pollen beetle, despite the fact that spray thresholds were rarely exceeded!(2).

3.   A number of research papers query the effectiveness of agrichemicals.  For example, in October 2014, the US EPA reported from a study that 74% of farmers using neonicotinoid seed treatment and foliar insecticide sprays for soy beans saw no beneficial crop increase, or reported a decrease!  100%  of farmers stated that despite using neonicotinoid treated seeds, their usage of sprays on the crops stayed the same or actually increased!(3)

4.   The National Institute of Agricultural Botany state:

“Pesticides are a considerable cost for farmers. Approximately 35% of the variable cost for combinable crops will be pesticides totalling approximately £160/ha. In vegetables the cost will be considerably higher” (1)

Farmers are applying pesticides at great cost to themselves, and this cost must be passed on to the general public, as well as increasing environmental pollution.


What will you do to rectify this situation of general over use of agri-chemicals (not only neonicotinoids)? 

Meanwhile, blogs by David Jones in Farmer’s Weekly share real experiences of farmers facing escalating costs due to increasingly ineffective but very expensive chemical applications to the soil.  In cases where farmers are being successful, they are using more traditional techniques of soil care: crop rotation, moving away from monoculture, and better rotation systems.   For example, the Farmer’s Weekly Farmer of the Year 2015, (a Mr Hoveson from Holkham) notes how he has improved his oil seed rape crop considerably (even on poor soil) due to good rotation, and better planning.  He states there is too much emphasis on chemicals and big machinery, and not enough on trying to understand the soil (5).


I hope you will look into this matter, free from the vested interests of the agri-chemicals industry.

Yours sincerely,




(1) National Institute of Agricultural Botany, evidence to the Environment Audit Committee:

(2) Re-evaluating Pollen Beetle Thresholds in Oil Seed Rape, HGCA Project no 2001-3242, by Steve Ellis and Pete Berry:

(3) Benefits Of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments to Soybean Production,Oct 2014; by Clayton Myers PhD and Elizabeth Hill -,-72,733

(4) Farmer’s Weekly, Issue 1000; 24/4/2015; by David jones.


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