How key pesticide changes affect beet and barley growers

Pesticide approvals are constantly changing and the latest raft are set to affect farmers growing sugar beet and cereals for brewing and distilling.

Highlights include more options for weed control in sugar beet and major changes to the the Accepted List of plant protection products permitted for use on cereals destined for malting and brewing.

Here are some of the most recent additions and changes to help keep growers up to date

1. Sugar beet herbicide additions reinforce weed control armoury

Some recent additions to the sugar beet herbicide portfolio could help growers maintain adequate weed control should key actives be lost in the ongoing EU re-registration process.

Three identical formulations from BASF – Topkat, Tanaris and Butisan Pro – bring together existing sugar beet herbicide quinmerac with dimethenamid-P and had limited availability for use in the 2018-19 crop.

Business development manager Iain Ford says the firm will be looking to increase volumes for spring 2019, with the products designed as mixing partners with strong residual and contact activity. Weed strengths include cleavers, speedwells, dead nettles, fool’s parsley and mayweed.

See also: How to get residual herbicides right to fight blackgrass in wheat

The products have a total maximum dose of 1.5 litres/ha and BASF recommends using 0.3 litres/ha shortly after emergence, followed by two 0.6 litres/ha applications on subsequent weed flushes. 

Partnering any of the three products with complementary actives such as ethofumesate, phenmedipham and metamitron will help provide robust, broad-spectrum weed control.

Actives at a glance

  • Topkat/Tanaris/Butisan Pro Dimethenamid-P + quinmerac
  • Goltix Titan -Metamitron + quinmerac
  • Goltix Metamitron
  • Kezuro Metamitron + quinmerac
  • Artemis Fenpropidin + prochloraz + tebuconazole
  • Meteor Chlormequat + imazaquin
  • Upright Chlormequat + imazaquin
  • Tepekki Flonicamid

Meanwhile, fellow manufacturer Adama has gained pre- and post-emergence approval for metamitron-quinmerac formulation Goltix Titan, which will be launched in spring 2019.

Adama UK’s marketing director, Ali Bosher, tells Farmers Weekly that the addition of quinmerac to straight metamitron product Goltix improves control of “Goltix” weeds such as fumitory, fool’s parsley and knotgrass.

Goltix Titan fills some gaps in Goltix’s weed spectrum, including cleavers and black bindweed.

Growers can apply a maximum individual dose of 3 litres/ha at pre-emergence and 2 litres/ha post-emergence, with a maximum total dose of 6 litres/ha. Latest time of application is nine leaves unfolded, with a minimum interval of five days between applications.

Containing the same active ingredients is BASF’s recently approved Kezuro, but as its active ingredient ratio is different, so are its conditions of use.

It can be applied in one hit at pre-emergence up to 3.5 litres/ha, or post-emergence with a maximum total dose of 3.5 litres/ha and a maximum individual dose of 1.3 litres/ha.

2. Product list for malting and brewing cereal growers updated

The Accepted List of plant protection products permitted for use on cereals destined for malting and brewing has been updated, with 10 actives removed and one added.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and food and drink advisory group Campden BRI compile the Accepted List, which is designed to help brewers comply with relevant EU and UK law and maintain the safety and quality of beer.

Two removed actives requiring the most caution are fungicide fenpropidin and plant growth regulator imazaquin, which both remain approved for use in wheat, but cannot be used on crops destined for malting or brewing.

The former is included in the Adama formulation Artemis, while imazaquin remains popular as part of chlormequat-imazaquin co-formulations Meteor and Upright from BASF.

Elsewhere, four actives are no longer approved for use in any crop and are, therefore, removed from the list, including fungicide fluquinconazole and herbicide diclofop-methyl.

Making up the four are weedkiller flupyrsulfuron-methyl and fungicide picoxystrobin, which have not yet expired, but use-up periods expire on 30 November 2018 and 13 December 2018, respectively.

A further three remain approved for use in some situations, but are no longer approved in any cereal crop, so have been removed from the list.

The trio includes fungicides triticonazole (amateur use), famoxadone (potato) and insecticide pirimicarb (pulses plus various EAMUs).

Lastly, Kieselgur (diatomaceous earth), which can be used as an insecticide, has also been removed from the list, as use in the UK falls outside of plant protection legislation.

Herbicide aminopyralid is added to the list, with aminopyralid and halauxifen-methyl co-formulation Trezac after being approved for use on a range of cereals, including barley and wheat, late in 2017.

3. Tepekki gains full approval in sugar beet for aphid control

Belchim’s aphicide product Tepekki has had sugar beet and fodder beet added to its label, offering growers a means of controlling aphids after neonicotinoid seed treatments are phased out later this year.

Currently, the flonicamid-containing product will be the only option available to control peach potato aphids – the primary vector of the devastating beet disease virus yellows – in the 2019 crop.

The approval allows growers to use a single application of 0.14kg/ha at any stage up to 60 days prior to harvest.

Pesticide Watch

In the first of a new series, Farmers Weekly is working with Gatekeeper agronomists to highlight key pesticide rule changes and the potential implications, keeping you on the right side of the law and aiding on-farm record-keeping.

Sentinel is a decision support tool linked to Gatekeeper crop management software, a programme that helps arable farmers with record-keeping and legislation issues. For more details visit www.farmplan.co.uk or call 01594 545 011.