Isoproturon is still an option but rates cut
CEREAL growers can continue to use the herbicide isoproturon, the Advisory Committee on Pesticides has decided.
But, as a result of its official review, applications will be restricted to 2.5kg/ha a crop with a long-term goal of 1.5kg/ha. The ACPs decision was welcomed by the UK Task Force, a group of manufacturers including Rhone-Poulenc, Ciba and AgrEvo, formed to defend the herbicide.
Bob Joice of Rhone-Poulenc commented: "The importance of effective blackgrass control has been recognised while controlling its use in line with drinking water standards."
Split rate allowed
Split-rate applications would be allowed, added Mr Joice.
Any move towards the 1.5kg limit would depend upon research into the effects of reduced rates but rapid change was unlikely, he predicted.
More careful use of isoproturon in the autumn is needed to assure the herbicides future, claimed Mr Joice. Guidelines promoting better use of the product will be published this autumn.
Isoproturon is the subject of an EU review in Germany. *