UK herb growers will be able to protect their crops with a new weed control product following successful trials as part of AHDB’s £1.4 million SCEPTREplus project.
The Centurian Max weed killer was developed in record time, with the EAMU (Extension of Authorisation for Minor Use) team using intelligence from other EU countries and collaborating closely with manufacturers and growers to gain approval within a year of starting the project.
Trialled by crop protection firm Arysta and agricultural and environmental consultancy ADAS, with funding from AHDB Horticulture, it will be particularly useful in the control of annual meadow grass.
The product was screened for crop safety for coriander and dill, as well as parsley at a reduced rate, according to ADAS researcher Angela Huckle, who conducted the trials.
Claire Donkin, technical officer of British Herb Growers, said: “Weed control is the number one concern for most herb growers. With recent withdrawals of products, and the fact that herbs are a sensitive crop, we are left with a limited choice of products to use.
“Innovative projects like SCEPTREplus are important to give us continued access to products as part of our integrated weed management programmes.”
Don Pendergrast, product development manager at Arysta, added: “Centurion Max will benefit herb growers as Clethodim, the active ingredient, can be used to effectively control troublesome annual and perennial grasses.
“In particular, this ingredient can still offer control of black-grass that is resistant to other graminicides.”
Centurian Max has been approved for use via the Chemical Regulations Division of the Health and Safety Executive.
In 2016 AHDB also worked closely with Arysta to generate an EAMU for brassicas, legumes, carrots and onions, as well as recently gaining an approval for soft fruit and root vegetable crops.
Priorities for year two of the trial are currently under discussion and will be finalised early in the New Year.