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Rule reminder: Key pesticide stewardship pointers

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Pesticide stewardship campaigns at the moment are on the coronary heart of business efforts to forestall additional losses of under-threat energetic elements.

Right here, we give a reminder of the stewardship pointers or data accessible to assist mitigate the danger of issues arising from using some key actives presently within the highlight.

1. Nematicides

Granular nematicides play a significant position in controlling soil-borne pests in potatoes and different root crops and the Nematicide Stewardship Programme (NSP) goals to advertise accountable and sustainable use and defend operators, the setting and shoppers.

The initiative brings collectively producers Dupont, Syngenta and Certis and is supported by a number of business our bodies, together with the AHDB, AIC and NFU.

Making use of granular nematicides according to the NSP greatest follow protocol turned a part of the audited Purple Tractor requirements for contemporary produce, combinable crops and sugar beet in October 2019.

Greatest follow will be summarised as follows:

Operators who’re planning to use nematicides should be PA4 or PA4G accredited and likewise be a member of the Nationwide Register of Sprayer Operators.

Alternatively, growers can full particular coaching on nematicide software by way of Artis stewardship coaching. This may be completed on-line by way of a brand new e-learning module, which features a printable certificates to point out at a Purple Tractor inspection.

Granular applicators ought to be checked earlier than the beginning of the season and on every working day, to make sure that all pipework is accurately fitted and the hopper bungs are in place and hopper lids are safe.

When the applicator is in use, granules also needs to be monitored to verify they’re flowing accurately.

The applicator should even be inspected and authorized by a Nationwide Sprayer Testing Scheme-qualified engineer yearly.

Single go
All granular nematicides ought to be utilized and integrated inside a single go instantly earlier than planting, with no granules left on the floor.

All applicators should be fitted with a tool within the cab that enables the operator to close off the granule circulate earlier than the tip of every row.

For potato growers, shut-off should be achieved at the least 3m from the tip of every row. All growers ought to be conscious of the delay between shut-off and granules clearing the outlet.

Applicators that have been produced previous to 2017 won’t essentially have already got the aptitude to satisfy the brand new requirements, however all applicators that are on-farm can meet the requirements, with a number of choices being open to growers.

Authorised techniques embrace handbook shut-off utilizing an electrical or cable clutch, or a hydraulic land wheel elevate.

An electrical or hydraulic drive will also be used, and has the extra advantage of auto fee management and record-keeping, which can be utilized by growers to show their utilized space.

Alternatively, operators can harness current expertise already constructed into their tractors through the use of GPS and importing pre-formulated maps, which suggests shut-off will probably be computerized.

Hoppers ought to be stuffed inside designated websites that may simply be checked for spillages.

Small spillages ought to be buried instantly, making certain that no granules are left on the floor.

Bigger spillages ought to be eliminated into an empty nematicide container, clearly labelled and returned to the producer.

Monitor handled fields 24 hours after software for any adversarial results on wildlife.

If any are discovered, growers ought to contact Pure England’s Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme on 0800 321600, and the product producer.

Extra element on every side of one of the best follow protocol will be discovered on the Nematicide Stewardship Programme web site, the place there may be additionally a helpful video information to applicator calibration.

2. Oilseed rape herbicides

There are 5 oilseed rape herbicide actives which might be very important to retaining crops free from weeds, however with many post-emergence purposes utilized late within the autumn, there may be an elevated danger of contaminating groundwater.

Agrochemical producers BASF and Adama teamed as much as implement the “Metazachlor Issues” marketing campaign, which raised consciousness of points referring to metazachlor and quinmerac purposes.

Steerage on these two actives stays unchanged (see beneath), however stewardship recommendation is now included within the Voluntary Initiative’s “OSR Herbicides? Assume Water” marketing campaign, together with three different actives – propyzamide, carbetamide and clopyralid.

Metazachlor and quinmerac stewardship pointers

  • Most dose – 750g/ha metazachlor and 250g/ha quinmerac
  • The place there aren’t any drains – no timing restrictions
  • For drained fields (together with momentary) – purpose for 1 October software; deadline is 15 October
  • Functions after 1 October will be made if soil/seed-bed circumstances are good and drains not flowing
  • Drained fields in ingesting water safeguard zones – cut-off 1 October

Of the 5 actives, propyzamide is most continuously detected, whereas quinmerac and clopyralid are probably the most tough for water firms to take away from uncooked water provides.

The marketing campaign outlines 5 steps that oilseed rape growers can comply with to assist minimise the danger of the 5 herbicides being detected in water.

Use the Atmosphere Company’s “What’s in your yard?” device to seek out out in case your land is in a ingesting water safeguard zone and perceive the pesticides which might be of particular concern

In case you are farming in a ingesting water safeguard zone, converse to your native water firm catchment officer to know the potential danger on a field-by-field foundation, or converse to your agronomist

Additional to this, growers ought to implement greatest follow agronomy to assist defend water by:

  • Managing tramlines, pathways and gateways to minimise compaction and cut back the danger of floor water run-off.
  • Guarantee all floor water adjoining to oilseed rape fields is protected by at the least a 6m vegetative buffer strip.
  • Earlier than making purposes, all the time seek advice from product-specific labels and the Voluntary Initiative’s water safety recommendation sheets.

© Tim Scrivener

3. Bentazone

Bentazone is a herbicide acquainted to pulse, linseed and potato growers, however Atmosphere Company information exhibits it’s the most continuously detected permitted pesticide in UK groundwater. It is usually more and more being present in floor water.

As a result of hyperlink between EU laws on pesticides and water, it’s potential that the EU approval for bentazone won’t be renewed, ensuing within the lack of all bentazone merchandise throughout Europe.

BASF’s Bentazone Water Stewardship Programme is a proactive initiative geared toward encouraging accountable product use.

The Voluntary Initiative’s water safety recommendation sheet for bentazone was up to date in 2019 to mirror BASF’s suggestions.

The recommendation is as follows:

  • Don’t apply if heavy rainfall is probably going inside 48 hours.
  • Keep away from software when drains are flowing or are more likely to circulate inside seven days.
  • Cut back dose charges (≤1,000g/ha/12 months) so far as potential
  • Use bentazone as late as potential to scale back leaching chance; don’t apply in autumn/winter.

Observe fundamental water safety recommendation

  • Level air pollution sources (farmyard runoff, spillages) should be averted.
  • Take care when filling and cleansing the sprayer.
  • Use a minimal 6m grass buffer strip or 5m no-spray zone adjoining to watercourses.
  • Don’t apply if soils are dry, cracked or saturated.

Bentazone use recommendation at a look


Excessive-risk areas*

All different areas


Shallow and stony soils on chalk/limestone

Don’t use

Keep away from use

Shallow soils on sandstone

Don’t use

Keep away from use

With shallow groundwater

Don’t use

Keep away from use

With low natural carbon (<1%)

Don’t use

Keep away from use

Different soils

OK to make use of

OK to make use of


Spring and summer time

OK to make use of after 1 April

OK to make use of


Don’t use

Don’t use


All soils

Don’t use greater than 1,000g/ha/12 months of energetic

Keep away from use of greater than 1,000g/ha/12 months of energetic

*Excessive-risk areas embrace ingesting water groundwater safeguard zones (for bentazone or nitrates) and groundwater supply safety zones 1+2.


Metaldehyde stewardship

Whereas metaldehyde slug pellets are being phased out, farmers nonetheless must comply with the improved metaldehyde stewardship group pointers.

Metaldehyde slug pellets can’t be bought after 31 December 2020 and farmers could have 12 months to make use of up shares earlier than the 31 December 2021 ban.

On this interval, farmers must comply with these pointers:

  • No pellets to be allowed to fall inside a minimal of 10m of any subject boundary or watercourse.
  • Use minimal energetic per hectare to keep away from drainage and run-off losses.
  • Most complete dose from 1 August to 31 December: 210g metaldehyde/ha. For added safety of water, suppliers/Foundation advisers could suggest charges lowered to 160g/ha or much less.
  • Most complete dose fee: 700g metaldehyde/ha/calendar 12 months.
  • Don’t apply when heavy rain is forecast.
  • If drains are flowing, don’t apply metaldehyde-based slug pellets.

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