New weapon in the potato herbicide armoury for 2016

A new contact-acting herbicide will be available for potato growers in spring 2016 from agrochemical company Belchim Crop Protection.

The as-yet-unnamed product contains the active pyraflufen-ethyl and will be for pre-emergence use on potatoes and also as a haulm desiccant later in the season.

It is aimed to add an alternative option to similar contact actives reglone and carfentrazone-ethyl, both of which are used for the same dual purpose.

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Belchim recently lost the rights to sell carfentrazone-ethyl, contained in products such as Shark and Spotlight, which will now be marketed in the UK by its competitor Headland Agrochemicals.

The company’s marketing manager Simon Leak told Farmers Weekly pyraflufen-ethyl would fill the gap in its portfolio and stacks up well against carfentrazone, with the advantage of stronger activity on mayweed.

“We are excited to have it on board and have worked with similar products in the past, so we know how they work and fit in with growers. It is another option in that market,” he added.

The active comes from Japanese-owned agrochemical company Nichino Europe and signals the beginning of a new collaboration between the two firms.

The product has label recommendations for weed control pre-emergence of the crop, but post-emergence of weeds at 0.4 litre/ha and for desiccation at 0.8 litre/ha plus methylated seed oil.

Mr Leak added that for desiccation purposes it is not a first “opening spray”, where reglone is typically used, but for subsequent applications to kill off stems.

“The first use of pyraflufen-ethyl will be in the early weed control market in potatoes in spring 2016,” he said.

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