Claire Matthewman Bayer

Claire Matthewman

Currant growers have received a boost after an EAMU was issued for the foliar insecticide Batavia.

Under extension of authorisation for minor use (EAMU) 680 of 2021, issued by the Health and Safety Executive in early April, growers can make two sprays of Batavia for the control of aphids and blackcurrant gall mite up until the beginning of ripening. Previously, growers could only apply Batavia after harvest.

The news will be welcomed by growers with outdoor crops of blackcurrant, redcurrant, blueberry, gooseberry and whitecurrant, according to Claire Matthewman, Bayer horticulture campaign manager.

“Currant growers have been asking us to pursue this EAMU for more than a year. It has come in good time for this season,” she said, adding that while the EAMU has several conditions of use, growers will not see them as restrictive.

“Batavia’s two-way systemic activity gives up to three weeks protection from a single application so being able to apply two sprays per season either in alternation or as a two-spray block within a programme, means growers can design a strategy around it. This significantly expands the period of protection growers can deliver to crops,” Matthewman added.

The use of Batavia in currants is subject to standard LERAP conditions and restrictions on application timing to protect bees, Bayer pointed out. A minimal interval of 14 days between applications must be observed as must a 14-day interval between application and harvest.