Time is rapidly running out to make sure potato stores comply with new rules on using chlorpropham (CIPC), which require the sprout suppressant to be applied using “active recirculation” at new lower rates.
As of July 2017, all spud stores will need to further restrict the maximum CIPC dose that is applied to potatoes to prevent sprouting.
From the summer, rates for processing potatoes must fall below a new 36g/t limit while fresh market spuds can only be treated with up to 24g/t of the fumigant.
The chemical is a vital tool to control sprouting and is applied to about 3.5m tonnes of potatoes stored each year. Since 2012 the potato industry has gradually reduced the amount of CIPC that is applied to stored crops after concerns over residue levels.
To help growers and store owners comply with the new legislation, the CIPC Stewardship Group has launched a new technical guide.
The booklet offers an explanation of how “active recirculation” works, along with ways that bulk and boxed potato stores can be modified to comply with the new application requirements.
“CIPC is vital to the potato industry. Applications must now be made using ‘active recirculation’ to optimise the efficacy of the new European lower maximum dose rates,” says stewardship group chair Mike Storey.
“Research carried out by AHDB at Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research in collaboration with the industry has clearly demonstrated that the correct use of fans can systematically improve the uniformity of CIPC distribution and reduce the risk of maximum residue exceedance.”
The new guide is now available to download as a PDF from the CIPC stewardship website.