Signum approved for use on protected crops in time for blackberry harvest

The Horticultural Development Company (HDC) has secured a long-awaited specific off-label approval (SOLA) for cane fruit growers in time for the blackberry harvesting season.

The SOLA is for the use of Signum on protected blackberry and raspberry crops and has been issued thanks to the efforts of the HDC's soft fruit panel.

To ensure that "minor crops" were fully catered for, the panel funded a research project on the blackberry disease purple blotch.

It was led by ADAS's Tim O'Neill and found that Signum, Amistar and Folicur can help growers to protect their crops against purple blotch.

Signum was already approved for use on outdoor blackberry and raspberry crops but there was no approval for its use on protected crops.

HDC crop protection liaison manager Vivian Powell therefore worked with a German "minor use" group and BASF to obtain the necessary residues data to allow the HDC to submit an application for a SOLA to the Chemicals Regulation Directorate.

Blackberry and raspberry grower Tim Chambers of WB Chambers & Son in Kent said: "It will make a positive contribution to control of purple blotch in our blackberry crop and has the advantage of offering incidental downy mildew control."

The SOLA (number 2101 of 2010) allows growers to use three Signum treatments per year at a maximum individual dose of 1.25kg/ha, with a three-day harvest interval. To avoid fungicide resistance developing, Signum should be alternated with fungicides from a different cross-resistance group such as Folicur.


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