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Industry unites to help safeguard glyphosate

Key independent bodies and industry companies in the UK have joined forces to promote best practice to help ensure the continued availability and efficacy of glyphosate-based herbicide products.


Abby   Kellett

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Abby   Kellett
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The European Commission recently renewed the approval of glyphosate for five years, but to retain both the availability and efficacy of glyphosate in the UK, it is important that action is taken at the ground level.

 

In response, the independent stakeholders AHDB, AIC, NFU and the Weed Resistance Action Group (WRAG) have worked alongside companies within the UK glyphosate industry – Albaugh, Barclay, FMC, Monsanto, Nufarm and Syngenta – to review guidance, update resources and publish materials on a dedicated web page: cereals.ahdb.org.uk/glyphosate

 

Paul Gosling, lead weed expert at AHDB, says: “Since its introduction over 40 years ago, glyphosate has become one of the most frequently used herbicides in the UK.

 

“The industry fought hard to retain it and now, with the herbicide’s immediate future secured, it is vital that residues are minimised and resistance risks are managed.

 

“With planning for the 2022 renewal process already underway, glyphosate users must be proactive and follow best practice.”


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Minimising residues

One way in which glyphosate is used is at pre-harvest to control weeds, aid harvesting and protect grain quality and food safety. To ensue crop residues are kept to a minimum, they have issued the following advice:

 

  • Be sure your target market permits the use of glyphosate
  • Check and follow product labels
  • Follow best application practice (for maximum efficacy and drift reduction)
  • Only apply glyphosate as a harvest aid when the grain or seeds have less than 30 per cent moisture content
  • Use the guidance in this publication to estimate moisture contents
  • Only target weeds that are green, healthy and actively growing

 

More information can be found in AHDBs new publication entitled ‘Pre-harvest glyphosate use in cereals and oilseed rape’ which is available on its website.

Maintaining performance

 

Although there have been no confirmed cases of glyphosate-resistant weed populations in the UK, examples have been identified in Europe. Together with widespread resistance to other herbicides and the loss of key active ingredients, this means it is vital to prevent resistance to glyphosate and retain its efficacy.

 

In 2015, guidelines from WRAG were published by AHDB that detail how best to use glyphosate as a stale seedbed management tool. The strategy involves preventing survivors, maximising efficacy, using alternatives and monitoring success.

 

James Clarke from ADAS and WRAG chairperson says: “AHDB and industry-funded research conducted since 2015 has confirmed that these guidelines are robust. They represent the most recent position and, if followed, can help us to avoid the development of glyphosate resistance in the UK. For weeds, management decisions made by individuals have an impact in their own fields, even if others get it wrong.

 

“Alternatives to glyphosate should be used whenever possible and more than two pre-drilling applications must always be avoided. When applied, it should be at the right dose, at the right time and in the right conditions. Any surviving weeds should not be treated with glyphosate again and any suspected resistance must always be reported and investigated.”

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