A NEW consultation aims to ensure growers of minor edible crops will be able to use certain crop protection products when existing regulations end next December.

Under the current Long Term Arrangements for the Extension of Use (LTAEU), growers of named minor crops are permitted to use certain pesticides if that product is authorised for use on closely related major crops.

For example parsnip growers can extrapolate from Label recommendations and SOLAs approved for carrot crops, according to the Horticultural Development Council (HDC), conducting the exercise.

The arrangement is unique to the EU and is set to end in December 2005. The HDC consultation therefore aims to ensure suitable alternatives will be in place for growers.

The HDC, together with the National Farmers Union and Central Science Laboratory will look at three key areas:

  • Identify and nominate individuals to represent minor crop group interests
  • List all crop/product combinations considered essential within each crop group
  • Take this list to the Pesticides Safety Directorate to obtain required updated registration

“This is a vital exercise we are taking care of on behalf of all growers in horticulture and in association with the HGCA and NFU for agriculture too,” said Vivian Powell, HDC Crop Protection Manager.

“I urge all growers to cooperate with the various specific crop coordinators we have identified as part of this exercise.”

The HDC wants anyone growing fodder beet, mangle, salsify, cardoon or parsley root, to contact them, as they are unaware of specific growers of these crops at present.

Vivian Powell can be contacted on 01757 269 245.

The consultation is due to be completed by the end of February 2005, before the HDC begins talks with the PSD.