SUPERMARKET PRESSURE for further reductions in pesticide residues in fresh produce has prompted extra guidelines to growers on reducing residue risk.

While current residue levels are “extremely low and of no human health concern”, additional ways of reducing contamination are needed to avoid restricted pesticide lists, said AP chairman, Chris Payne.

Assured Produce is now offering advice to members on how to further reduce residue levels, while maintaining crop quality and good agricultural practice, he said.

For example, where dithiocarbamate potato blight fungicides – such as maneb and mancozeb – are used, growers are instructed to plant deeper and build bigger ridges to avoid the chemical contacting exposed tubers, he explained.

Further guidelines also cover the use of aldicarb and storage pesticides such as CIPC and imazalil, he noted.

Find out more about supermarket issues facing farmers in the ‘supermarket special‘ in this week‘s FARMERS WEEKLY magazine (April 1-7).