Velum Prime gains EAMU for free-living nematodes in parsnips

Velum Prime becomes the only low volume nematicide approved for use in parsnips
Velum Prime becomes the only low volume nematicide approved for use in parsnips

Velum Prime, Bayer's liquid nematicide containing fluopyram, can now be used for the control of free-living nematodes on parsnip after AHDB was granted an extension of authorisation for minor use.

The news will likely be welcomed by growers who have been contemplating how to protect parsnips after authorisation for oxamyl was withdrawn at the end of 2020.

Since then, the situation has been described as 'close to desperate' for growers, according to AHDB Horticulture.

Joe Martin of AHDB Horticulture said: “The loss left parsnip growers without an effective nematicide, but with this extension of authorisation there is an additional means of control for FLN [free-living nematodes].

"Since oxamyl was withdrawn last year we have been contacted by many growers asking us to make representations on their behalf."

Mr Martin said a positive of Velum Prime was the reduced operator exposure and greater flexibility in application.

"Applying for an EAMU [authorisation for minor use] for Velum Prime is one example of the work we have done on their behalf and we have been successful,” he added.

Until recently, Velum Prime was limited to potatoes and carrots where it is approved for the suppression of plant parasitic nematodes.

But with this new EAMU, it becomes the only low volume nematicide approved for use in parsnips.

It also brings a new mode of action for the management of FLN in this crop group.

The news will come as relief to parsnip growers, said Claire Matthewman, Bayer campaign manager for horticulture.

“Parsnips are more vulnerable to fanging than carrots, so being able to apply a product previously approved for use in carrots will come as a relief to growers concerned about the potential of FLN to cause severe losses,” she added.

“AHDB Horticulture is to be applauded for the speed of its actions in submitting this application on behalf of the industry.”

The EAMU allows for Velum Prime to be applied using a horizontal boom sprayer at a rate of 0.625 litres per hectare in a water volume of 250-500 litres per hectare.

In practice, this is the same as the authorisation allowing for Velum Prime on carrots, Mr Martin explained.

“The wording may be slightly different, but we have been reassured by CRD that the application practices approved for use in carrots also apply to parsnips," he said.

"This means growers can apply Velum Prime via either a conventional boom sprayer or a boom mounted on the front of a cultivator.

"Incorporation must be made to a minimum depth of 10-20cm, and application must be no more than 72-hours before drilling."

Other restrictions are that no more than one application in two years and cardoons, celeries, Florence fennels and crops belonging to the category ‘other stem vegetables’ must not be planted as succeeding crops.

Nor can Velum Prime be used to target Sclerotinia while the first fungicide applied after drilling must belong to a different mode of action group in the interests of resistance management.

The EAMU was published by the Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD) of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).