AHDB: Potato Businesses at Risk Due to CIPC Use-up date
The Potato Industry CIPC Stewardship Group (PICSG) has warned potato growers and buyers against applying sprout suppressant CIPC at 2020 store loading.
The popular active, previously used on over 90% of the circa 3.5 million tons of potatoes stored in Britain, has its approval for use withdrawn by the European Commission on January 8.
The maximum “use-up” period of nine months was set up by the EU, with member states able to set their own date within this timeframe. This means the last possible use-up date is October 8 – during the very early stages of potato store loading in a typical season. This date has now been officially confirmed as the use-up date in the UK.
“This will become an issue at the point at which the Maximum Residue Level (MRL) of CIPC allowable for potatoes for human consumption, which is currently 10 parts per million (ppm), drops to a new temporary MRL (tMRL). We think this will happen before the 2020 harvest comes out of store,” said Dr. Mike Storey, chiar of the PICGS.
He added that the tMRL rate is unknown at the moment, although AHDB has been part of a Europe-wide effort to submit data from commercial stores to inform this.
“We know where we hope it will be, and it is at a level that will be achievable if you’re using stores that have previously used CIPC, as long as cleaning guidelines are followed – but if you apply CIPC to crop this year it will not pass an inspection,” Storey concluded.
Some countries, including Belgium, have taken this possibility out of the equation by bringing the use-up period forward to June.
Adrian Cunnington, head of Crop Storage Research at AHDB, believes many growers are aware of the changes and will known that the 2019 harvest is the last that can be treated with CIPC.
“Any grower who applies CIPC in autumn 2020 is at high risk of being unable to sell the crop. Our message is quite simple when it comes to CIPC at 2020 store loading – if you fog them, you can’t flog them,” Cunnington explained.
Information on alternative products is available on the AHDB website’s storage hub. And to help store managers prepare, AHDB is offering free one-to-one potato store visits via its new Storage Network. The visits are designed to help businesses prepare for life after CIPC.