Diquat has played an important role in growers’ rapid desiccation of potato crop haulm, to enable cost effective harvesting of clean tubers.
The EU Commission confirmed its decision to withdraw the approval of diquat, the active ingredient in Reglone and Retro.
In October 2018, the European Commission decided to implement its proposal not to renew its approval in the EU. This decision applies to all products containing diquat and the decision was based on concerns related to the precautionary principle of exposure of bystanders, residents, and birds.
The Ulster Farmers’ Union and other farming unions lobbied on behalf of the industry, however, the chemicals regulation division of the Health and Safety Executive, confirmed the date for diquat products to be withdrawn from the market was 31st July 2019, with a use-up period for growers up to 4th February 2020.
Robert Sibbett, UFU potato policy chair, has highlighted that AHDB trials have suggested other products are available and were reported to be effective and just as good as Reglone.
The UFU reminds growers that this product will not be available for desiccation of crop in 2020.