Growers of minor horticultural and arable crops (including rye, triticale, durum wheat, soya, sunflower) need to be aware of changes to the pesticides approval process, the Home Grown Cereals Authority has advised.

The old arrangement that allowed growers to use a number of products by automatic extrapolation from approved uses within similar crop groups (LTAEUs) is being replaced by Specific off-label approvals (SOLAs), it said.

Long-term arrangements for the extension of use (LTAEUs) were unique to the UK and needed to change, commented the Horticultural Development Council’s Vivian Powell.

“With increasing harmonisation of EU pesticide rules, in particular those relating to maximum residue levels, we have had to convert these approvals to SOLAs or lose the use of the active.”

The HDC and HGCA have produced a CD listing the first batch of 800 SOLAs (covering products, actives and the crops they can be applied to) – copies have been sent to all HDC members and are available to HGCA levy payers on request.

It is thought to be unlikely that the edible crops section of the LTAEU will be revoked during 2006. Current LTAEU edible uses will continue until all SOLAs have been issued.

The full SOLA database can be accessed via the PSD website at: https://secure.pesticides.gov.uk/offlabels/search.asp