Adama New Zealand, a member of Adama Group, a global crop protection leader, has reported it had pre-emptively recalled Mancozeb cover spray in New Zealand two weeks ago, in case it was the cause of damage to some Royal Gala apple crops in Nelson Tasman and Hawkes Bay it was applied to. Tests this week confirm the presence of fungicide Azoxystrobin in one of the product batches, which is known to damage this variety of apples. Adama New Zealand will no longer sell the product in New Zealand.
Adama New Zealand was first alerted to the potential issue on October 5th by a Hawke’s Bay grower, who had found blemishes on the leaves and young buds of some Royal Gala tree varieties and their clones. Adama New Zealand immediately started an investigation in partnership with its distributors and apple growers. As soon as Mancozeb was suspected, after initial plant tests, a product recall was issued by Adama New Zealand and the product sent for testing.
Product results received two days ago confirmed the unexpected presence of Azoxystrobin in Mancozeb. While Azoxystrobin is a systematic fungicide commonly used in agriculture — particularly on wheat, grapes and some vegetable crops — its use is not intended for apples.
Immediately following the discovery Adama New Zealand reported its status and actions to the regulatory body.
Adama New Zealand CEO David MacGibbon said that they have begun investigations with the third party product manufacturer to find the exact cause of the contamination. “This is not a product we manufacture ourselves. Mancozeb has been a widely used product in spring for apple growers since we started selling it 10 years ago,” he said. “There have never been any issues before. However, we will not be selling it again as we have now lost our faith in its manufacturer. This is the only product they produce for us.”
MacGibbon said he was devastated that this had happened because of a product Adama New Zealand sold. “Growers are like family to us, many of us have known each other for decades. Over the coming months towards harvest, Adama New Zealand will continue to run residue tests on all apple trees where the product has been used and will further support growers,” he said.
This issue does not affect any apples currently for sale from last season, whose trees had previous batches of Adama Mancozeb applied.