10 November 1995

Cleavers controller approval hold-up

A PROMISING new herbicide for cleavers control in oilseed rape (Arable, Sept 29, p58), already sold on the Continent, has hit a snag in the UK.

BASF says it is "disappointed" with the Sub-Committee on Pesticides decision not to grant approval for BAS 526H, its metazachlor/quinmeric mix in time for next autumn.

The SCP says it needs more information on the herbicides movement to surface water. Even a 1997 launch is "unlikely" according to product manager Andrew Jones. "We just dont know yet how long its going to take to generate the data."

The decision is unexpected in view of the Pesticide Safety Directorates recommendation for provisional approval, he adds. "But the UK is particularly concerned with surface water compared with our Continental brethren where the concern is more for ground water."

The same mix has been sold for two years in France and is in its first season of use in Belgium and Germany, he notes.

Not yet submitted

Another quinmeric-based BASF product for sugar beet, not yet submitted for approval, is less likely to encounter problems because it is spring-applied, he believes. "Increasing scrutiny" rather than a "movement of the goal posts" is the likely reason for the delay, he adds.