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Vegetables in crisis:

Pest infestation threatens German kale cultivation

Kale is in crisis. Growing the popular seasonal vegetable is becoming increasingly difficult, according to an answer presented on Wednesday by the Lower Saxony state government to a small enquiry from the Greens. The reason: pest infestation. Many plants are infested by the Cabbage Whitefly. Alexandra Wichura of the Plant Protection Office of the Chamber of Agriculture in Hanover confirmed on Wednesday, in response to a question from NDR 1 Lower Saxony, that the pest has "spread enormously" in recent years. She added that the pest was becoming increasingly difficult to control. 

Nets or more pesticides?
State parliament member Miriam Staudte (Greens) attributes the increased infestation by pests to larger areas of cultivated land and warmer winters. In this context Staudte speaks of a "growing kale crisis". While the MEP calls for the plants to be protected with small-meshed nets, Alexandra Wichura complains that the pests can only be effectively controlled with a single agent.

Other necessary means would be approved too hesitantly in Germany. In January, the NDR radio station reported that more than a tenth of the kale harvest is heavily contaminated with pesticides. In Germany, around 8,000 tons of kale were cultivated in 2018, about half of which in Lower Saxony. One main cultivation area is the region around Vechta.

Source: NDR

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