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Alert: EU’s view on peanut fungicides could change U.S. options

June 3, 2016

According to Clemson University Extension, peanut foliar disease control programs in recent years have focused more heavily on late leaf spot because it consistently causes economic loss. Fields should be rotated out of peanuts for at least two years to reduce late leaf spot pressure, but even then the wind can carry spores for miles and place peanut fields at risk.

Propiconazole is an active ingredient found in many peanut fungicides used to control late leaf spot.  Unfortunately, the European Union (EU) will lower maximum residue limits (MRL) of propiconazole on Oct. 19, 2016 from 0.2 parts per million (ppm) to 0.01 ppm. Due to the lowered MRL, use of products containing it, including Tilt® and Tilt® Bravo® SE fungicides, are in doubt for 2016.

EU policymakers reevaluated the methodology used to determine the MRL for propiconazole, which resulted in the MRL changes. Until new data can be generated with the updated procedure to establish a reasonable new level, the MRL will remain at the default level of 0.01 ppm.

There is a chance that the use of propiconazole at current labelled rates in the United States could result in residues above this very low MRL, potentially leading to the rejection of peanuts exported to the EU market. Syngenta is committed to taking the necessary steps to update the MRL for Tilt to meet the new EU requirements. To protect growers until the situation is resolved, Syngenta is advising against the use of propiconazole-containing products on peanuts for export. Propiconazole-containing products can be used on peanuts grown for seed, butter, oil or domestic consumption.

In the meantime, what can be done about the threat of leaf spots? Growers can utilize alternatives to propiconazole on peanuts, such as Alto® (5.5 fl oz/A) + Bravo Weather Stik® (1 pt/A) fungicides.

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