The loss of another important herbicide is feared UK growers could be left without an alternative chemical, according to an article on FarmingUK.com.
But levy-board Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has reassured growers of an alternative weed control solution, which is apparently in the pipeline.
The EU recently decided not to renew authorisation of pre-emergence herbicide linuron.
The EU-approved herbicide metobromuron has given good results in AHDB-funded trials. UK authorisations for use of the product on horticultural crops are not expected until at least 2018, but AHDB is working to obtain earlier authorisations in key crops.
AHDB’s SCEPTREplus, a new four year programme of crop protection product trials, will launch in April 2017. It aims to deliver applied research on high priority disease, pest and weed problems in fresh produce and ornamental crops in order to support approval of products and devise and develop IPM programmes.
Non-chemical solutions are also being sought by AHDB through investment in innovative technology, including ‘Eyespot’, an automated system for applying herbicide droplets to individual leaves of weeds in row crops.
Linuron loss ‘blow to growers’
The decision not to renew linuron was announced in January and the Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD) has confirmed the final sale and distribution date as 3 June 2017 and 3 June 2018 for the disposal, storage and use of existing stocks.
Ian Holmes, research and development chair at the British Carrot Growers Association (BCGA), said the loss of linuron in carrot and parsnip crops ‘cannot be understated’.