New CRD (Chemical Regulation Directorate) label requirements for herbicides approved for use on non-porous, hard surfaces, require increased targeting of spray applications, important in protecting water and optimising application efficiency, Bayer believes.
"These new label requirements - 'Regulatory Update 42' - will apply to all herbicides used on paved and other non-porous surfaces," explains Bayer's Dorin Pop.
The new legislation, aligned to the EU Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides and the EU Water Framework Directive, has come into action to help minimise the use of herbicides and to reduce run-off into drains which poses a pollution risk, he reviews.
"For herbicides used on such surfaces, the path of movement following application mirrors that of rainfall, often being directed into drains and gulleys.
"This potential pollution risk is one which must be prevented to deliver environmental protection which otherwise hinders compliance with EU and UK directives relating to pesticide use and protection of water resources.
"The objective is to improve the targeting of herbicide applications and to avoid blanket sprays when controlling weeds on impermeable surfaces," he says.
Not only will this help prevent herbicides reaching the drainage systems, but it will also prevent costly product wastage.
Growers will see the label change introduced on product packaging by May this year at the latest, notes Dorin, who advises referring to the 'direction of use' section on the product label.
He adds that the exact label wording will depend on the mode of action of the individual herbicide - be it contact, residual or multi-site acting.
"For products with a contact or systemic mode of action in particular, for example CDA Vanquish, which contains glyphosate, users must exert care when applying the product and ensure spraying only takes place when weeds are actively growing (typically from now until October) and thus receptive to treatment.
"The operative must also ensure spray is confined only to visible weeds including those in the 30cm swath covering a kerb edge and road gulley.
"And users must also ensure they do not over spray drains," he adds. "These are important measures to minimise losses after application and ensure environmental protection."
Dorin remarks that while the speed and ease of these targeted spot treatments may not exactly match that of a blanket application, it will deliver more accurate use of the product. "Spot treatments optimise the amount of herbicide product being used to give effective control which reduces the cost of product per treatment".
He emphasises the importance of both planning and monitoring of weather conditions prior to herbicide treatment to ensure the necessary rainfast period is facilitated.