The European Commission's proposal to ban three key neonicotinoids used by farmers was endorsed by EU member states yesterday, and they will now only be allowed in greenhouses where they are not exposed to bees.

The current restrictions, which came into force in December 2013, prevent the use of clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam as granular applications to soil, seed treatments to cereals drilled from January to June, as well as uses as seed treatments, soil treatments or foliar applications to flowering crops (except when applied after flowering of the crop).

The new measures will come into force after a phase-in period of about 8 months.

Market round-up

Harrison & Hetherington Ltd sold 194 store heifers in St Boswells on Thursday to a top of 276.9p per kg and an average of 226.4p (-5p on the previous sale), while 306 store bullocks peaked at 285.1p and levelled at 241.1p (+5p).

C&D Auction Marts Ltd sold 2256 prime hoggs in Longtown on Thursday to a top of £165 per head and 353p per kg to average 250.3p (+11p on the week), while 13 prime lambs peaked at £145 and 354p to level at 286p (+22p).

A similar show of 2277 cast sheep saw heavy ewes sell to £152 for Texels and average £95.12 (+£4.54), while light/export-type ewes peaked at £85 for Blackfaces and levelled at £53.33 (-£3.39). Rams sold to £150 for a Bluefaced Leicester and averaged £106.68.