31 March 1995

Little discussion on 6m buffer zone

ONE Berkshire member of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants, which requested the PSD list, says the 6m restriction has been foisted upon the industry with very little publicity or previous discussion.

In practice for some crops there will be little alternative but to leave large headlands unplanted, he claims. Another concern is that an empty ditch is still a water course as far as the rules are concerned.

There is also the question of monitoring and policing. "Because of the problems of implementing the regulation, one can envisage many situations where it will be ignored," he says.

Fellow AICC member, Warwick-based Bob Chorley claims the PSD list is "full of glaring anomalies".

The fungicide fenpropidin, for example, appears with a 6m spraying restriction when it is listed as the products Mallard, Patrol, and Tern. But there is no mention of the same active ingredient when it is mixed with propiconazole in the products Legend, Sheen and Zulu, explains Mr Chorley.

Formulation differences could account for the omission of the last three, he concedes. Yet the herbicide simazine, which in the UK Pesticide Guide 1995 or "Green Book" and on various product labels has a 6m restriction when used alone, is listed only when it appears combined with pendimethalin (as in Deuce and Merit) and isoproturon (in Harlequin).

"It is daft. It lacks total credibility," says Mr Chorley.