Science Into Practice - Replacing formalin in daffodil dip

Stem nematode (Ditylenchus dipsaci) is potentially the most devastating pest of daffodil crops worldwide, but has been controlled for decades by hot-water treatment (HWT) of planting stocks with formalin added to the dip.

In 2008, the agricultural/horticultural approvals for formalin were revoked within the EU at short notice, and HDC Project BOF 61 was set up to find alternatives to formalin for HWT use.

Fusarium rots (base rot and neck rot caused by Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. narcissi) continue to cause concern to UK growers and the HWT dip often included a thiabendazole-based fungicide as well as formalin, a major component of managing Fusarium in daffodil crops. In 2008, this use of thiabendazole fungicides was restricted in terms of the maximum concentration and number of treatments per year so alternatives were also required.

As a result of initial tests in HDC Project BOF 61a, an iodophore-type biocide, FAM 30, was identified as a possible replacement for formalin, and a chlorothalonil-based fungicide, Bravo 500, as an alternative to thiabendazole-based products. To test these for crop-safety under commercial conditions, Project BOF 61b was set up for treatments in a range of cultivars.

The first year's results have showed that FAM 30 and Bravo 500 are effectively crop-safe. Further work will provide growers with full recommendations for the control of stem nematode and Fusarium rots. Growers should refer to the annual report for BOF 61b for tentative treatments, available at

Date for your diary

Tree Fruit Panel Meeting, 29 November, East Malling, Kent

Horticultural Development Company

For details on all HDC activity, visit

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next



These versatile, evergreen shrubs can flower from October right through to the end of May, Miranda Kimberley finds.

Business planning - cash-flow management

Business planning - cash-flow management

Wider market volatility can have a big impact on cash flow but there are ways to avoid problems, Neville Stein explains.



These compact, brightly coloured flowers can be very attractive for impulse sales, notes Miranda Kimberley.

Opinion... Get rid of plastics in Horticulture

Opinion... Get rid of plastics in Horticulture

Blue Planet II eloquently showed the rich tapestry of life in the oceans. It also focused public awareness on plastic pollution damaging wildlife.

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

British horticultural firms and organisations have not been the best at working together to promote our industry.

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking among our politicians

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking among our politicians

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 60 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive ranking of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover. 

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles