Potato growers planning to use aldicarb (as in Temik) this season will need to carefully consider what alternative they are going to apply, after the early removal of the active ingredient.

A European Commission decision last month to lower the maximum residue level for aldicarb in potatoes, carrots and parsnips effectively means the active ingredient cannot be used in these crops any longer. Manufacturer, Bayer CropScience, will, therefore, be withdrawing all on-farm supplies early in the New Year.

“The product was under essential use legislation, so we were expecting it to end in December 2007, but the decision [which resulted in early removal] did come as a surprise to us and growers,” says Bayer’s Bill Lankford.

“Temik still had a strong following for free-living nematode control and we sold a substantial amount last season. Growers will have to plan what they are going to do next.”

Loss

Scottish Agronomy’s Eric Ander­son says the withdrawal of Temik will be a loss to growers – particularly those in Scotland – needing to control free-living nematodes. “It also had incidental control of symphalids.” The three key options for growers besides Temik are Mocap (ethoprophos), Vydate (oxamyl) and Nemathorin (fosthiazate), he suggests.

“Vydate has approval for free-living nematodes and PCN, but you need higher rates (210g/100m row) to get the same control as Temik. Mocap has no nematode approval, but does give better control of wireworm, which is an increasing problem.”

Mr Anderson expects there to be fairly tight supply of these products and urges growers to secure their needs early in the New Year.

Mr Lankford reckons all three alternatives will be similar in price to Temik, but the main differences will be in rate and efficacy.

ALDICARB WITHDRAWAL
  • Aldicarb cannot be used in potatoes, carrots and parsnips in 2007
  • Approval for use in onions remains until end of December 2007
  • Three alternatives in Mocap, Vydate and Nemathorin
  • Consider what key target is
  • Bayer to organise collection scheme early in the New Year

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