All well and good you may think, the insect life is protected even though they weren’t under that much threat from “neonics,” some would say.
What has followed has been a perfect example of the law of unintended consequences. Farmers in their desperation to save their oil seed rape crops from the dreaded flea beetle, which munches OSR at a voracious rate, are now spraying their crops three or four times. In the process every living insect in the rape fields is dying and still the battle is not being won and rape crops are being completely wiped out.
The consequence is that the British OSR crop has shrunk dramatically and the three rape crushers we have in the UK are all now having to import rape from all over the world. I suspect that not all of the imported rape is grown to the same red tractor standards as ours is – and what happened to the wonderful idea of food miles?
The law of unintended consequences has really taken control. But has nature benefited? I think not.
David Roberts, of G O Davies (Westbury) Ltd grain merchants