MCPA monitoring continues…adhere to the label

MCPA monitoring and sampling is continuing in four priority catchments in counties Longford, Kilkenny and Limerick, as part of an industry-led stewardship programme.

Sampling is presently taking place every two weeks in these catchments. Sampling was carried out on a weekly basis in April and May and will be carried out on a weekly basis in August and September. Sampling exclusively targets phenoxy acid-based herbicides.

MCPA is a herbicide commonly used for the control of rushes and thistles.

If improvements are not seen in MCPA levels – throughout the two-year programme – further restrictions on the product’s use will be implemented.

In order to keep levels in water to a minimum, farmers should:
  • Follow label rates;
  • Follow label instructions;
  • Adhere to the 5m buffer zone;
  • Apply in appropriate conditions.

Sampling scheme

The sampling being carried out is part of an industry-led stewardship scheme, which is currently supplementing the routine sampling programme undertaken by local authorities on behalf of Irish Water.

Changes to labels

Some changes have been made to MCPA regulations already. In order to keep MCPA on the market in this country, levels of the product in water must be reduced.

In January 2016, label rates were reduced on ‘straight’ MCPA-based products and a 5m buffer zone was enforced. The use of straight MCPA was also made illegal between the months of October and February.

A list of straight MCPA products that have undergone significant label changes are outlined below.