Members of the Phosphite Biostimulant Stewardship Group (PBSG) are urging regulators in Brussels to review the terms of the recently adopted Fertilising Products Regulation (EU) 2019/1009 which does not allow the use of phosphite biostimulants or any fertilising product placed on the European single market under that regulation.
Phosphite is said to be a well-established agronomic input in Europe and growers in several European countries rely on it to promote root development and crop establishment.
The new regulation will be adopted in Europe next year and will apply to all countries unless the products have an approval under national regulations which supersedes the EU regulation.
David Booty, chairman of PBSG, says: “To my knowledge the only country with a positive approval under national regulations is France, so every other country will ban phosphites as a biostimulant once the new regulation comes into effect.
“Whether the ban affects farmers in the UK will depend on whether the Government decides to align our legislation with Europe and this is currently under consultation. If the UK did decide to adopt the new regulation then phosphite as a biostimulant would be banned unless the Government could be persuaded to allow it under national regulations.
“It is vital farmers and agronomists get behind the call for a review of phosphite’s status as a biostimulant.
Phosphite delivers around a 10-to-one return on investment when applied as either a seed treatment or a foliar spray.”
PBSG says growers and agronomists can support it in lobbying for a change in the European regulation by following it on LinkedIn.