Major new stewardship campaign to launch at National Fruit Show

A major new stewardship campaign, set up to support the long term availability of the widely used insecticide chlorpyrifos, is being launched at this year’s fruit industry event, the National Fruit Show.

Offering orchard growers the opportunity to register for FREE low drift nozzles (200 sets available on a first-come, first-served basis), the Chlorpyrifos: say NO to DRIFTcampaign aims to achieve 100% uptake of the nozzles by the top fruit sector in time for 2012 treatments.

Campaign coordinator Lindsay Fogg of ADAS explains that: “the adoption of low drift nozzles for applications of chlorpyrifos in orchards is the foundation of the initiative, which will also grow to include the soft fruit sector by the end of 2011. It’s a campaign that’s being spearheaded by the UK registrants of chlorpyrifos products – Dow AgroSciences, Makhteshim Agan and Headland Agrochemicals,” she says. “But we need every grower, spray operator and adviser to get behind the initiative.”

She adds that: “by ‘signing up’ to low drift nozzles growers will be helping to protect the ecosystems within surface waters adjacent to orchards, in light of increasingly stringent EU regulatory requirements. The bottom line is that by using low drift nozzles growers can help to maintain availability of chlorpyrifos in the UK.” Low drift nozzles are already widely available and used by orchard growers across Europe. She goes on to say: “It’s an opportunity for the industry to come together in the face of regulatory pressure and to minimise spray drift by always using these nozzles when applying chlorpyrifos, whilst also adhering to the current 18 metre label buffer zone.”

To support the stewardship initiative, an extensive drift deposition study has been conducted in the UK this summer in a Kent apple orchard. The results showed that the use of low drift nozzles leads to substantial drift reduction under a range of conditions.

The campaign has already been endorsed by leading figures within the top fruit sector. Adrian Barlow, Head of English Apples and Pears comments: “We support all appropriate measures to ensure the more effective and controlled use of plant protection products, including chlorpyrifos. English Apples and Pears will continue to ensure that its members understand the new changes and can respond accordingly.”

There will be the opportunity to learn more about the issues by attending one of theChlorpyrifos: say NO to DRIFT Speakers’ Corner sessions at the National Fruit Show (1200hrs on day 1 and 1100hrs on day 2).

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