UK: New plant protection product approved for use in record time

UK herb growers will be able to protect their crops with a new weed control product, which was identified in record time, following successful trials as part of AHDB’s £1.4m SCEPTREplus project.

To achieve this approval so quickly, the EAMU (Extension of Authorisation for Minor Use) team used intelligence from other EU countries, collaborating closely with manufacturers and growers, to gain approval of Centurion Max (clethodim) within a year of the project.



Claire Donkin, Technical Officer of British Herb Growers, said: “Weed control is the number one concern for most herb growers. With recent withdrawals of products, and the fact that herbs are a sensitive crop, we are left with a limited choice of products to use. Innovative projects like SCEPTREplus are important to give us continued access to products as part of our integrated weed management programmes. Centurion Max will be particularly useful in the control of annual meadow grass.”

Bolette Palle Neve, AHDB Crop Protection Scientist, said: “We wanted to quickly get growers access to a product that will have real impact for their businesses. We found out that Centurion Max was approved for use in Poland and included the product in our herb trials to check crop safety for UK growers. When the product showed promise we were able to replicate the approval gained by our European counterparts, so growers can now use it to protect their herbs.”

Angela Huckle, Researcher at ADAS who conducted the trials, said: “As part of the SCEPTREplus trials, Centurion Max was screened for crop safety for selected herb species. In the pot trial, it was seen to be safe to use for coriander and dill, as well as parsley at a reduced rate.”

Don Pendergrast, Product Development Manager at Arysta, said: “SCEPTREplus as an initiative benefits the whole agronomy sector because the collaborative approach allows specialist growers access to crop protection solutions that financially would be difficult to build a business case for without industry collaboration.”

AHDB worked closely with Arysta to generate an EAMU for brassicas, legumes, carrots and onions in 2016 and has also recently delivered an approval for soft fruit and root vegetable crops too.

“Centurion Max will benefit herb growers as Clethodim, the active ingredient; can be used to effectively control troublesome annual and perennial grasses. In particular, this ingredient can still offer control of black-grass that is resistant to other graminicides.”

The product has been approved for use via the Chemical Regulations Division of the Health and Safety Executive.

To find out more about SCEPTREplus trials, visit horticulture.ahdb.org.uk/SCEPTREplus or contact Joe Martin (joe.martin@ahdb.org.uk). Priorities for year two of the trial are currently under discussion and will be finalised early in the New Year.

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