Agrochemical company Rotam has reiterated its full commitment to sulfonylurea herbicides (SUs) despite a challenging regulatory environment.
With a number of active ingredients (AIs), most notably glyphosate, under threat of being withdrawn, Rotam has announced further investment in its regulatory capability. This move is in order to ensure its SUs will continue to be renewed for use at EU level and that its formulated products are re-registered by each individual Member State (MS).
Rotam’s Regulatory Affairs and Product Development Senior Manager James Anderdon said: “With environmental standards becoming more demanding it is important to have a detailed understanding of the chemistry and the capability to deal with an increasingly complex regulatory environment across the EU, and within each MS.
“Rotam thoroughly understands these challenges and can offer those recommending, buying and using SU products from our portfolio the confidence that we’ll support them.
“We’ve yet to see harmonisation of EU regulations across Europe – each MS can have differing approaches, timelines and mitigation measures. As a result, it is difficult to predict the outcomes of re-registrations. However, our strong regulatory team will continue to support the position that SUs are essential in cereal weed management programmes across the continent and cannot be replaced.”
Speaking at a Rotam-organised SU conference in Frankfurt held in September, Senior Vice-President Dr Yifan Wu said his business’s SU products were backed by world-class research and development facilities, with its AIs being produced to exceptionally high standards.
Dr Wu outlined Rotam’s sophisticated approach to development of SU formulations, with 230 patents granted. He also explained how the company employed screening and experimental farms in product development, as well as global field trials – with 3500 conducted in Europe alone.
“Our facilities mean we can offer a sustainable supply of SU products,” Dr Wu said. “Our products are sold in 69 countries and on more than 10 crops with excellent customer feedback.”
The conference also concentrated on the effective use of existing products in the short to medium term, with the development of new chemistry for broad leaved weed control realistically taking a minimum of 10 years to develop.
SU specialist Phillipe Thiebault said earlier application to weeds would not only reduce the risk of resistance, but also boost the effectiveness of products – even at a lower dose rate. With subtle changes in spraying strategies and correct management, he said that SUs would be in the market for the next 20 years and could continue to deliver efficient, cost-effective weed control to growers.