Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, Trends

Weed control remains in perpetual flux for British potato growers

For the past 10 years, potato growers in the UK have been adjusting their weed control programmes to fit in with the many registration changes to herbicides – some actives have been lost altogether, while others have had dose rate changes.

Potato crop expert, Paul Goddard, of BASF, recently warned growers that it was inevitable that this change will continue into the next decade – but that BASF are working hard to develop new options to use in this crop, he said.

“There is nothing as constant as change. And in potatoes, with the registration changes we have seen and that are anticipated, I can only see the issue getting more complex,” he argued.

“We have lost a number of actives over the last 10 years, including linuron, which was the mainstay herbicide – the last on farm usage for linuron was June 3, 2018 – along with paraquat, which was used by most farmers.

“This year will be the last year for the use of diquat in potatoes with its last usage date being February 4, 2020. All other actives due for re-approval, such as metribuzin, clomazone and prosulfocarb, are being scrutinised and may be subject to label changes in the future,” pointed out Mr Goddard.

“We have been developing new options for potato weed control. Growers may be familiar with dimethenamid-p (DMTP) in other crops. It has shown excellent varietal crop safety in potato trials over the last few years and we will be continuing its development this year.

Read the full article in The Scottish Farmer

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