Vining peasVining peas ©Tim Scrivener

Tighter pesticide regulations could have serious implications to the vining pea industry in the UK, according to industry experts.

 Three key herbicides that tackle broadleaved weeds and volunteer potatoes are at risk of being lost, leaving growers with few alternatives.

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Richard Fitzpatrick, managing director of major pea producers Holbeach Marsh Co-operative, says the increasing level of regulation could damage growers’ ability to produce one of the UK’s top-selling vegetables

“The UK grows 130,000t of green peas every year, with an ex-farm value of £50m.”

He points out that both yield and quality would be affected without the key plant protection products.

Roger Vickers, chief executive of the Processors Growers Research Organisation, explains that growers cannot afford to lose any more products.

“Products available to pea and bean growers are already at a critically low level and their loss is potentially devastating to the ability of growers to produce the quality of product the consumer needs and expects.”

 Actives at risk

  • Flumioxazine – for example, Guillotine – volunteer potatoes
  • Pendimethalin – for example, Stomp – broadleaved weeds (pre-emergence)
  • Bentazone – for example, Basagran – broadleaved weeds (post-emergence)