EU decides not to renew key sprout suppressant

Chlorpropham is used as a sprout suppressant on more than 80 per cent of potatoes stored in the UK
Chlorpropham is used as a sprout suppressant on more than 80 per cent of potatoes stored in the UK

The European Union had rejected the renewal of key germ inhibitor and herbicide chlorpropham.

The European Commission has rejected the re-approval for use in the EU of any products containing chlorpropham (CIPC).

The chemical is used as a sprout suppressant on more than 80 percent of potatoes stored in the UK.

Member States have now been told to withdraw authorisations for plant protection products containing chlorpropham as an active substance by 8 January 2020.



Meanwhile, popular desiccant Diquat, which is used during potato harvest, has lost EU approval, with 2019 becoming the last growing season it can be used.

Maleic Hydrazide, a growth regulator also used for sprout suppression has been re-approved but with changes to its label that may reduce the extent of its use in the field.



Rob Clayton, Sector Strategy Director for AHDB Potatoes: “We have been monitoring this situation closely for some time and supporting growers and the industry in making the transition from CIPC to alternatives is a top priority for us.

“In January we announced a ring-fenced a fund of over £800,000 to ensure all those who store potatoes have access to the advice they need. This builds on an existing spend of £800,000 per year on storage research.”

Estimates from earlier this year show British growers held potato stocks at the end of November 2018 at 2.97Mt, the lowest during this point in the season since 2016/17.

It follows one of the smallest potato harvests on record.