Potato businesses at risk due to CIPC use-up date

The Potato Industry CIPC Stewardship Group (PICSG) has warned potato growers and buyers not to apply chlorpropham (CIPC) at store loading for the 2020 season.

CIPC had its approval for use withdrawn by the European Commission on 8 January, and the UK has confirmed the nine-month ‘use up’ period set by the EU, so that that the last possible use-up date is 8 October 2020 – during the very early stages of potato store loading in a typical season.

Dr Mike Storey, chair of the PICSG, said, “This will become an issue at the point at which the Maximum Residue Level (MRL) of CIPC allowable on potatoes for human consumption, which is currently 10 parts per million (ppm), drops to a new temporary MRL (tMRL). We think this will happen before the 2020 harvest comes out of store.

“We don’t yet know the tMRL rate, although AHDB has been part of a Europe-wide effort to submit data from commercial stores to inform this. We know where we hope it will be, and it is at a level that will be achievable if you’re using stores that have previously used CIPC, as long as cleaning guidelines are followed – but if you apply CIPC to crop this year it will not pass an inspection.”

Adrian Cunnington, Head of Crop Storage Research at AHDB, added, “. Any grower who applies CIPC in autumn 2020 is at high risk of being unable to sell that crop. Our message is quite simple when it comes to CIPC at 2020 store loading – if you fog them, you can’t flog them.”

Photo source: AHDB

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