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New Virus Hits Europe, This One Threatens Sugar Crops

  • Beet yellows virus spread after insecticide ban, mild winter
  • Sugar output may drop as much as 25% in key grower France: CGB
Updated on

A crop-disease outbreak is giving Europe’s struggling sugar farmers another thing to worry about.

Still dealing with historically low prices and hit by a dry spring that stressed beets after planting, growers now have to contend with the spread of beet yellows virus. Transmitted by aphids, it could cut sugar production by as much as 25% in France and even more in Germany if conditions don’t improve.