Arable News

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Stewardship focus at potato event

The Nematicide Stewardship Programme aims to address challenges related to the sustainable control of nematodes

Speaking at BP2015 in late November, chair of the Potato Industry CIPC Stewardship Group Dr Mike Storey urged the industry to “get ready for 2017”. He highlighted a two-pronged approach to deal with the expected reduction in maximum dose rate for CIPC products used in the UK.
(Above) Get Ready To Step Down: “Maximum dose rates for CIPC have been decreasing under the ‘Be CIPC Compliant’ campaign since 2012 from the maximum level that was originally 63.5g/t,” stated Dr Storey.
For the 2015/2016 season, new statutory limits on total dose rates, approved by the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD), are 30g/t for the fresh market and 50g/t for processing (including fish and chip shops, and peeling).
“The maximum total dose rate will continue to reduce over the next two seasons from 50g/t to the EU level of 36g/t. It is likely that statutory label requirements further limit the dose used on crops stored for the fresh market,” said Dr Storey.
Best practice, in-line with Red Tractor Farm Assurance and the NAAC applicator group, permits just one application in cold stores (<5*C), early in storage, before temperature is decreased below 7*C.
Get Active In Store: Research carried out at AHDB Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research (SBCSR) in collaboration with the industry has demonstrated the benefit of ventilation management during application of CIPC, particularly in bulk stores.
“Box stores are more challenging,” said SBCSR technologist, Adrian Briddon. “Active recirculation achieved by use of supplementary fans results in more uniform application of CIPC and minimises the risk of an MRL exceedance.
“This approach is already best practice and is likely to be a condition of use of CIPC products from 2017 onwards. The approach will also enable store managers to more effectively cope with the reduced CIPC doses that will be available.”
Growers yet to adopt active recirculation need to act now, stresses AHDB Potatoes.
*For more information on CIPC management contact Adrian Briddon on 01406 359412 or go to:

Nematicide partnership
The Nematicide Stewardship Programme (NSP) announced a new training partnership at the event with the industry training initiative ARTIS.
(Above) The Nematicide Stewardship Programme aims to address challenges related to the sustainable control of nematodes. Left to right: Independent potato specialist Andy Alexander; DuPont’s Neil Beadle; Sharon Hall of the Potato Processors’ Association; Certis’ Alan Horgan; Mark Britton of Syngenta; Sue Cowgill – AHDB Potatoes; Richard Austin Agriculture’s John Keer.
“We are excited about the training partnership with ARTIS,” says NSP chair, Dr Sharon Hall. “The use of Nematicides remains critical to many growers in producing a quality product and maintaining current rotations and this new partnership will deliver high quality training on a sustainable basis to the industry.”
The winter programme of operator training workshops takes place throughout the country and will be provided free of charge while funding is available. Places can be booked at
The NSP group is a joint initiative that brings together agrochemical companies Certis, DuPont and Syngenta (which has provided funding to establish the workshops). They are working with other NSP members AHDB; AIC; Fresh Potatoes Suppliers Association; NFU; Potato Processors’ Association and Richard Austin Agriculture Ltd to ensure these vital products remain available for future use on potatoes and other key root crops.
Aimed at those who apply the pesticides in the field and relevant to agronomists, farm owners, farm managers and contractors, the training course is the basis of the Nematicide Application Protocol in the Red Tractor Crop protocols for potatoes, onions, parsnips and carrots.
“It’s crucial for all operators to attend,” added Dr Hall. “Industry has requested that Red Tractor Assurance incorporates a requirement into its standards specifying that all staff applying nematicides must have completed the course by March 2017.”
“I’d urge all businesses to ensure that they take advantage of the workshops before the funding runs out,” concluded AHDB Potatoes head of knowledge transfer, Philip Burgess.
“After this time they will have to pay in full for the essential training.”

New herbicide announced
Also at the event Belchim Crop Protection showcased a new potato herbicide adding to its existing range of crop protection products within the potato sector.
“We are delighted to confirm the addition of another new active ingredient pyraflufen-ethyl to our range for the 2016 season,” said Belchim’s marketing manager Simon Leak.
“Pyraflufen-ethyl is from Nichino Europe and signals the beginning of a new collaboration between our companies. The new herbicide has label recommendations for weed control in potatoes at 0.4-litres/ha and desiccation of potato haulm at 0.8-litres/ha plus a methylated seed oil,” he continued.
“The first use of Pyraflufen-ethyl will be in the early weed control market in potatoes in Spring 2016,” added Mr Leak.

Store control system
Crop Systems Ltd launched SmartStor at Harrogate, a cost effective crop store control system that enables users to monitor and manage their stores via their smartphone or tablet anywhere, anytime, says the Norfolk-based company.
SmartStor can easily replace any make of controller giving a “new brain” to manage existing, older storage equipment, said the company. The system offers 24/7 peace of mind by continually monitoring all aspects of the store and issuing alarms to users if anything goes outside pre-selected parameters.
Operators can log into the store and apply appropriate changes remotely as if they were in the store, or arrange human intervention to solve the problem. With the majority of new stores now being fitted with solar panels, and monitoring of ambient conditions, SmartStor also helps optimise energy efficiency, enabling energy produced on one store to be transferred to manage adjoining stores.
The system offers a ‘Lone Worker Alarm’ via a swipe card or keyed entry system. This will issue an alert if any worker fails to ‘log out’ from the store within a given time, and trigger a visual alarm on site.
A new piece of software called ‘CO2 Accumulator’ tracks store air quality with a view to solving some of the long-term issues in storage, added the firm.
“Our new system offers operators total control of their stores from their pocket and manages and logs all store visits of users. This increases awareness in the unlikely event that store visits have been missed,” said Crop Systems’ Ray Andrews. “Store managers will have complete peace of mind because they will know their crops are being stored in optimum conditions, and the store itself is operating efficiently. If storage equipment fails, the system will give you the information to take control before crop quality is compromised.”
The system generates automatic reports daily by email or text to all users showing current status of temperatures and equipment status. It comes with a three-year warranty (which includes sensors) and full data recording and graphing which can be examined remotely.

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