Despite its recent stay of execution, there is little hope for sustained use of multisite fungicide mancozeb beyond the 2023 growing season in the UK, and potato growers are urged to start planning how they will effectively manage disease and fungicide resistance without it.
Adam Clarke reports for Farmers Weekly that late last year, there was a chance that if the EU hadn’t passed the recommended withdrawal of mancozeb into law by end of the Brexit transition period, British growers would gain a reprieve for the 60-year-old fungicide. And that is exactly what happened on 1 January, when some pesticides under review by the EU were automatically given a three-year approval extension.
However, despite the renewal process being triggered in the UK, hopes are described as very slim by many observers. The initial reason why it was recommended for non-renewal by the EU’s standing committee on plants, animals, food and feed (SCoPAFF) was its potential impact on human health.
Scottish Agronomy’s potato expert Eric Anderson is concerned that while on paper there is an extension to 31 January 2024, the recent trend of rapid product withdrawal could continue, with carbamate nematicide Vydate (oxamyl) a recent example.