Are you concerned about the EP vote on pesticides in October?

HW polled growers at the Woking Nursery Exhibition last week on the European Parliament vote.

YES - Patrick Fairweather, managing director, Fairweather's

"It's hard to know yet how things will change. I think it won't do any of us any favours. Growers can't put their livelihoods at risk and cut out chemicals completely.

"If the number of chemicals on the market diminishes any further, it will have a detrimental impact on the industry. There is only so much you can do with bio-control. Supermarkets and garden centres have zero tolerance of pests on plants supplied to them at the moment but the whole industry will have to be a bit more tolerant regarding pests."

MAYBE - John Blower, production manager, Griffin Nurseries

"To some extent the pesticide review will affect us but obviously it depends on the outcome. We don't use that much IPM.

"We tried it but have moved away from it because we found it was not greatly effective for what we do and the way we do it.

"As long as there are alternatives to what we use now (if products are no longer available) then we'll just bring in something else. We are going to start using compost tea soon and that might help. There has been a big push promoting this recently, with reps coming round. It's the thing of the moment."

NO - John Gubbins, manager, North Hill Nurseries

"It looks as though there are quite a few pesticides that will be lost. But as long as there are some products that are adequate to deal with pests, diseases and weeds then we should manage.

"At our company we keep spraying to a bare minimum and we shift stock so quickly that it is not so relevant for us. We raise our plants out in the open air and keep the nursery very clean and tidy, making sure that any dead foliage is removed."

YES - Michael Smith, director, WD Smith & Son

"We use as few chemicals as possible but it would be very frightening growing ornamentals if we lose all those products.

"I've seen the list of products that might be affected and it would be very difficult to grow certain plants. For example, I don't think rust could be treated, and therefore I wouldn't grow Bellis again. If the proposals get approved, there will be some products left but they won't be the strongest chemicals - and if there is a smaller number there would soon be resistance issues. We have already written a letter to the HDC and comments are currently being gathered from BPOA members."


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