Early results from a four-year crop protection research project have identified metobromuron as having potential to fill the gap that will be left for many vegetable growers when the herbicide linuron is withdrawn from use in June 2018.
Metobromuron is being tested to increase understanding of its use and performance in carrot, parsnip and celery crops as part of AHDB Horticulture-funded SCEPTREplus trials.
Growers invited to view the trials in the summer also identified five further herbicide treatments that were considered acceptable with regard to crop safety and will now be taken forward for further testing.
Angela Huckle, researcher at ADAS, said: “Metobromuron has performed well as an alternative to linuron in the SCEPTREplus trials, and although it can check the crop when compared to linuron, growers are perfectly happy with this when they can gain effective weed control, and the effect is very slight.
“It is also encouraging to see five further herbicide options for carrot growers also looking promising within the trials.”
Joe Martin, crop protection senior scientist said, “The SCEPTREplus trials are already generating valuable data that we can now use to make applications to generate Extensions of Authorisations of Minor Use, which are vital in helping to keep the horticulture industry productive in the future”
Ian Holmes, company agronomist at Strawson Ltd. said, “Weed control has become more challenging with the loss of various active ingredients in the last few years, including metoxuron, pentanachlor and prometryn. In 2018 we will lose the use of linuron which has been a key component of both pre- and post-emergence weed control for many years and this will leave a big hole in the crop protection toolbox.
“The SCEPTREplus work allows independent assessment of a range of products at appropriate timings and sequences; allowing us to critically assess which options are worth taking forward.”