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How to remove CIPC residue from potato storage buildings?

Chlorpropham (or CIPC) is widely used as a sprout suppressing agro-chemical applied to stored potatoes. CIPC has been in use for more than 50 years. Today, various safety issues and concerns have surfaced primarily due to continuous and long-term use of CIPC. While the use of CIPC is strictly regulated in some countries, it is expected to be banned in others in the near future.

Victor Leforestier is a potato grower in Normandy, west of France. He stores 1,800 tonnes of potatoes, half for the fresh market (in wooden boxes), and half for processing (ventilated slated floor). He is grappling with the problem of a coming ban of CIPC in France.

“We’ve used CIPC in our storages since it was available, but now it seems that the end of this product in France is very near, probably a matter of weeks now,” he told Potato News Today. Victor expresses a concern about the complete removal of CIPC residue in his storages – a problem that many other potato growers like him are grappling with in the wake of a ban on the use of CIPC.

Says Victor: “There are some alternatives coming onto the market so I’m not worried that we can replace the product, BUT now how do we clean the product off our storages? Apparently water will only wash the dust but will not “unstick” the product from a hard surface.”

He is considering to switch to organic production, saying that regulators don’t want any CIPC residues on any potatoes after it’s been banned. “I don’t plan on burning my potato building down to build new ones…” he says.

Any of our readers are welcome to contact Victor directly if they have suggestions on how to solve this very real and practical problem. He can be reached at victor.leforestier@gmail.com. His Twitter handle is  @VictorHolistic. Also feel free to contact me with ideas in this regard that I can share with others here on Potato News Today: lukie@potatonewstoday.com