The Nematicide Stewardship Programme (NSP) reminded potato growers to follow the best practice to ensure sustainable nematicide use this spring. Chair of GB Potatoes and working group member of the NSP, Mark Taylor said:

“Potato cyst nematode (PCN) is the most widespread challenge in the potato industry. Access to quality land is diminishing, making the responsible use of nematicides is crucial to managing this issue effectively.”

Mr. Taylor stressed the importance of the NSP in demonstrating the industry’s commitment to responsible nematicide application, ensuring the safeguarding of both the environment and the operators.

GB Potatoes

The NSP’s best practice principles focus on raising awareness and knowledge about nematicides such as fosthiazate, outlining the responsibilities and obligations towards environmental care and operator safety.

The stewardship programme embraces these aspects and reinforces the importance of training and resource availability for growers, Taylor said.

The chair of GB Potatoes outlined the key areas of the protocol:

  • All operators must have a PA4 or PA4G certification;
  • Must have completed the ARTIS Nematicide Stewardship e-learning course to apply granular nematicides;
  • They must also be members of National Register of Sprayer Operators (NRoSO);
  • Applicators must be checked daily for damage or wear;
  • The applicator must be certified as “fit for use” by a qualified National Sprayer Testing Scheme (NSTS) engineer at least every two years;
  • Product used should be calculated according to the area treated to make sure the correct volume is applied;
  • No granules should be left on the surface of the soil after use.

Taylor added that all applicators must be fitted with a device in that that shuts off granule flow at least 3 metres from the end of each row.

The use of the same filling point in the field allow any spillages to be identified easily and any spillages are to be buried immediately to ensure no granules are left on the surface.

He noted that if the spillage is large, remove it to an empty nematicide container, clearly label it and return it to the manufacturer.

Treated fields are to be checked 12 to 24 hours after application for adverse effects to wildlife, according to the chair.