Pesticides for vegetable crops outlined

Teagasc recently published its 13th edition of approved pesticides for use on vegetable crops, which was first published in 1998.

According to Teagasc, the annual publication is intended to provide growers with a quick reference to the commonly available approved pesticides, which can be used on vegetable crops. It is available online here.

It noted not all generic products are mentioned. It said the term pesticide includes fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and molluscicides (slug pellets).

Teagasc highlighted this year a new feature of the edition is that all actives that control slugs are included. It stressed that growers should take note that pellets based on metaldehyde or ferric phosphate can be used on all crops, whilst those based on methiocarb (Draza Elite) can only be applied to certain crops.

Teagasc is also keen to point out once a pesticide is cleared for use the onus is on the grower to use that product responsibly. It said the instructions for the correct use of a pesticide are on the product label, which is a legally-binding document that should be read carefully.

By law, a grower can use a pesticide on a crop only if its use is specified on the label. The label also provides a precise summary of precautions to be taken in relation to how a pesticide is handled, applied and stored.

Teagasc outlined to ensure compliance with the regulations and to reassure consumers that the food they eat is safe, the department regularly tests for pesticide residues on a range of foodstuffs, including vegetables.

It said samples are taken at wholesale level and if a residue is detected it must not exceed the Maximum Residue Level (MRL). MRLs have been established for all pesticides and represent the maximum residue that should arise in food when pesticides are correctly used.

Teagasc stated that every effort has been made to ensure that the details in the publication are correct. However the definitive source of information on pesticides is the Pesticide Registration and Control Division and if you have any doubts about the contents of a product label telephone 01-615 7552.