THE Crop Protection Association is helping farmers and growers to meet the food retailers' demands for produce as free of pesticide residues as possible.
It has just produced a `Decision Triangle'. This distils the crop protection decision process into a simple, single-page, flow diagram for growers so that they can ensure safety to the operator, the consumer and the environment.
"In the UK, consumers have made it plain that they do not expect residues in the food they buy," said Richard Trow-Smith, who acts as the association's liaison with the food industry. "Aware of this, the Government introduced its `name-and-shame' policy which publicises any retailer found to have produce on sale with residues exceeding the MRL trading standard.
"Headlines in the national papers for MRL exceedences make a serious dent in retailers' public images and they have responded by setting tough standards on residues for their suppliers. The suppliers, in turn, expect the growers to do everything they can to keep residues as low as possible.
"This new publication from the CPA takes growers through a simple step- wise process which applies to any crop protection decision.
"Beginning with assessment of potential weed, pest and disease problems and their effect on crop yield and quality, the flow diagram moves to prevention planning by such techniques as crop rotation, choice of resistant varieties, purchase of good quality seed and so on," Mr Trow-Smith explained. …