Loss of insecticide treatments will leave UK pea and bean producers at a disadvantage

Even following revisions to the original plans, there are so few pesticides available for peas and beans, the losses are still significant, writes Processors & Growers Research Organisation technical director Anthony Biddle. In fact, there are now additional pesticides that are at risk.

The potential loss of insecticides for peas and beans will have a serious effect on yield and quality of the produce. Most pulses are grown for the high-quality premium markets, which include freezing, canning or dry products for human consumption and export quality for export to the Middle and Far East.

This would place the UK at a distinct disadvantage for these markets and would increase the risk of crops failing to make the standards required for UK freezing or canning.

The loss of pendimethalin will cause problems for both peas and beans. Pendimethalin is a widely used addition to pre-emergence applications, which widens the spectrum of weeds that can be controlled.

While other herbicides will remain available, a lower level of weed control will be achieved with corresponding risks of yield loss and produce contaminants.

There will be no products available for post-emergence control of thistles, docks or volunteer oilseed rape. In green beans, the loss of linuron and pendimethalin will leave the crop without effective pre-emergence products.

Fungicides are not widely used in peas but in wet seasons leaf and pod spot and Sclerotinia can be damaging. In beans, strobilurins can be useful but are already widely used and the loss of the triazoles will raise the risk of resistant strobilurin strains.

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