8 March 2002

HGCA backs soya pesticides trials

SOYA trials to assess the suitability of various pesticides for the crop have won HGCA backing this spring.

"The aim of the two-year project is to make soya growing a much more feasible option for British farmers," says project leader Andrew Probert of merchant Robin Appel, which is running the study on non-GM varieties with ADAS.

"One of the key issues holding soya back is the cost of relicensing agrochemicals for a new crop on a limited area," he says. "An alternative lies in the off-label system. Our trials will generate the supporting information needed for this."

The UK currently imports 2m tonnes, offering good prospects for home production, says the HGCAs Clare Kelly. "With such an established market, soya will offer farmers in suitable areas a valuable alternative to oilseed rape and other break crops." &#42