New guidelines for sugar beet field workers

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New stewardship guidelines aimed at protecting workers hand pulling bolters and weed beet from sugar beet crops are being introduced.

Both product stewardship and the health and safety of those using or coming into contact with sprays is of paramount importance to Bayer and the industry, says Edward Hagues, the firm’s campaign manager for root crops. “That’s why we continually re-evaluate product use and exposure to crop protection products in the context of ever-changing industry practice.”

The new guidelines from Bayer specify timescales and clothing requirements for workers hand-pulling bolters and weed beet from sugar beet crops. Where this has not been completed before spraying, workers should not re-enter the field within 48 hours of spraying. Thereafter, and up to 10 days after spraying, pulling can be continued by workers wearing appropriate work wear – that is boots, gloves and long trousers – and waterproof trousers if the crop is wet. From 10 days after spraying there are no requirements and these guidelines do not apply to those visiting sugar beet crops for short periods such as agronomists when crop walking.

Bayer is contacting the growers and gang-masters involved in this activity to inform them of the new guidelines and Mr Hagues asks all those with responsibility for workers in sugar beet fields this summer to adopt the new stewardship guidelines. A recording template is available at

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