21 August 2001
‘Green’ reworking for Aventis herbicide

By Tom Allen-Stevens

ONE of the UKs most widely-used herbicides is due to be delivered to growers in a water-dispersible granular formulation for the first time this autumn.

Manufacturer Aventis claims the new formulation is a step towards complying to pesticide stewardship proposals announced earlier this year.

Panther WDG (diflufenican + isoproturon), usually formulated in five-litre plastic containers, will be available packed in 5kg bags enclosed in a cardboard outer.

“In the event of a product spillage at filling, granular products are much easier to clean up than liquids,” explains Aventis stewardship manager Steve Higginbotham.

Handling incidents when filling the sprayer were identified as a significant contributor to point-source contamination in a recent environmental study.

“In addition, unlike liquid formulations, the Panther WDG packaging does not need to be triple-rinsed.”

But their poor or slow capacity to dissolve, and complaints from growers that granules are too dusty, could dissuade many from using the new formulation.

Neither of these would be an issue with Panthers new extruded granular formulation, claims Mr Higginbotham.

“This means that it is both dust-free and easy to dissolve in the sprayer if mixing guidelines are followed.”

He adds that trials have shown it takes as long to fill a sprayer with Panther WDG as it does to use a liquid product and triple rinse the containers.

“The cardboard boxes and bags can also be more quickly and efficiently disposed of by burning in a Crop Protection Association approved incinerator.”

The CPA released its 27-point plan in March 2001 to avert the threat of a pesticide tax at the last budget.

Key points in the plan include encouraging growers to identify point contamination sources on farm and finding ways to reduce them.

Aventis sponsored the Cherwell environmental study, which identified that just one drop of spilt concentrate could cause a “pollution event”.

One bag of Panther WDG would apply enough normal rate DFF (50g/ha) to cover almost 10ha.

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