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UK: SCEPTRE gives growers access to new plant protection product

UK growers of field vegetable crops who are struggling with weed control options may welcome the new extension of authorisation for minor use (EAMU) granted for the bioherbicide ‘Finalsan’.

Tested as part of SCEPTRE, a four-year plant protection research programme funded by AHDB Horticulture, ‘Finalsan’ showed particularly promising results as a control option for groundsel and fat hen.

The EAMU has been approved as an inter-row horticultural herbicide on a variety of root, tuber and bulb vegetables. The product will be launched by Certis in spring, with growers able to apply the product from March to September, according to the application requirements.

The product has also secured on-label approval for use on a large range of top fruit and soft fruit species, applied around the crop, ensuring the product doesn’t make contact with the canopy. Within the SCEPTRE trials, where the product was tested with tank mixing and in alternative applications with carfentrazone-ethyl, the product showed promising results on both strawberry runners and between strawberry beds.

Vivian Powell, Crop Protection Senior Scientist at AHDB, said, “SCEPTRE has already delivered 10 on-label approvals and 12 EAMUs for growers, and we’re pleased to see Finalsan also now getting EAMU approval after performing well in the trials.

“We hope this product can support a gap in the market for growers as more herbicides continue to get withdrawn.”

Selchuk Kurtev, IPM Manager at Certis, said, “The SCEPTRE, and now the SCEPTREplus project, benefit both growers and manufacturers, as they increase our knowledge of the potential options and help us deliver what growers need.

“Working closely with AHDB and the crop panels gives manufacturers a better understanding of the challenges growers will face in the future and we can then work to address any gaps. It’s important that, as an industry, we’re not working in isolation, so we can focus on delivering new products that will make the biggest difference to growers.”

Finalsan was coded 116 in SCEPTRE and you can read the trial results in the final grower summary report available on the AHDB Horticulture website.

Building on the success of SCEPTRE, SCEPTREplus is a new four-year project to help secure the approval of plant protection products for the horticultural industry. Eighteen crop protection companies have contributed over 65 products for the trials, and 23 novel products will be screened.

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