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Fewer Weeds, More Wheat

Fewer Weeds, More Wheat

A herbicide to control problematic weeds in wheat crops and so increase crop yield, has been approved by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

An application from Bayer New Zealand Limited to import Sakura 850 WG was considered by a decision-making committee convened by the EPA. This product contains pyroxasulfone, an active ingredient not used before in New Zealand. It will be imported ready-packaged for sale, and is intended for use by commercial growers and contractors, not home-gardeners.

“The EPA has concluded that this product offers considerable benefits to wheat growers,” said General Manager of Hazardous Substances and New Organisms, Dr Fiona Thomson-Carter.

“We are confident that, with the required controls in place, Sakura 850 WG poses negligible risk to aquatic organisms, earthworms, non-target plants, birds and bees. Risks to human health and the environment that could arise from using Sakura 850 WG will be managed by the controls we have set.”

“These include creating a 15 metre buffer zone around any bodies of water, and restricting use to once a year at any given location. The product may only be used in the April-May period, which reduces the risk of groundwater contamination.”

“Application is restricted to ground-based methods only, with no aerial spraying permitted. The EPA has set a maximum application rate, and there is a range of information that must be included on product labels,” Dr Thomson-Carter said.

“These controls are designed to ensure that wheat growers can reap the benefits of the product, which include controlling problematic weeds, and so increasing wheat yields and profitability.”

“No formulations using a herbicide of this sort are currently available in New Zealand, and no local weed species are known to have developed a resistance to them.”
ENDS

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