Don’t risk using leftover IPU

Growers who still have products containing IPU in their stores should dispose of them immediately through the proper channels and not be tempted to use them under any circumstances, the Voluntary Initiative has warned.

UK approval for all products containing IPU was revoked by ministers on 19 March 2007 after a review of it’s impact on the aquatic environment. Farmers had until 30 June 2009 to use up or dispose of any remaining stocks. Use or storage after that date is now illegal.

Voluntary Initiative manager Patrick Goldsworthy, said: “Water quality monitoring is increasing and both regulators and water companies will be monitoring for IPU. Minute quantities can be detected and if any IPU is used, even in small quantities, it will quickly be detected.

“This will undermine confidence in the industry’s ability to comply with regulation let alone deliver voluntary measures. In addition, if the farmer is identified this could mean loss of single farm payments and enforcement action.”

Agrovista’s Chris Martin from North Yorkshire agreed that the temptation was great, but urged growers not to take any risks. “I know some will put the products on regardless of our recommendations as it will cost them so much to dispose and replace them,” he said. “They will have paid for the product in the first place, it will cost them to dispose of it, and they will have to pay for replacement products.”

But if products were applied there was a high risk it would be detected in water courses, he warned. “With such attention on the industry and the future of products such as metaldehye hanging in the balance, growers can’t afford to be irresponsible.”

Most farmers in his area disposed of remaining products last year, but he was aware that some was still some left in certain areas. “These growers should dispose them through the proper channels.”

Last year’s wet autumn meant some Scottish growers were unable to use up remaining IPU products in the autumn, said SAC’s Keith Dawson. “Given these circumstances it would have been nice if the Government had loosened restrictions, but these were not forthcoming.” Consequently, growers’ only option is to dispose of the products, he added.

Any unapproved leftover product must be disposed through a waste disposal contractor. Local contractors can be found at

Video advice

Bayer Crop Science has produced a video featuring Farmers Weekly Arable Adviser of the Year, Peter Riley from Prime Agriculture, Douggie Bain from Masstock and Bayer’s Tim Holt discussing the options for controlling meadowgrass without IPU.

More advice on non-IPU options can be found here:

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