Praxim, a new herbicide for use in potatoes has now gained approval from the Chemicals Regulations Directorate from January 2015. Praxim contains the new residual active ingredient metobromuron which although previously registered in Europe was not supported through the re-registration process and was subsequently revoked. Belchim took the decision to develop the molecule in 2008 and have since committed significant time, expertise and financial resources to bring the data package up to the current regulatory standards in both Europe and the UK.
Commenting on the new launch Simon Leak, Belchim’s Marketing and Development Country Manager, says that the approval of metobromuron is very timely, given the impending threat UK growers face from the loss of existing molecules, not just in potatoes but in other crops too, where the choice of active ingredients is already severely limited.
“Potatoes are just the start “ he adds , “ we are looking at a number of crops for metobromuron and we hope to gain approval for the first of those within the next few years. Product will definitely be available for use in potatoes for the coming season.”
Praxim fits very well into potatoes due to its high level of crop safety and broad spectrum herbicidal efficacy. In the UK alone over 60 trials, including variety screens, have shown Praxim to be safe to all varieties of early and main crop potatoes. It can be used pre-emergence right up to cracking of the ridges. Post emergence use is not approved and trials have shown significant crop effects can occur when applied after emergence. The crop safety of Praxim has allowed for it to be approved on all soil types, including sands, and a wide range of following crop options are available on the Praxim label.
The maximum label dose for Praxim is four litres per hectare, which achieves control of a wide spectrum of broad-leaved weeds and a number of grass weeds including annual meadow grass. Whilst the activity of Praxim is mainly residual, via root uptake and subsequent photosynthetic inhibition causing weed death, there is also a degree of contact activity on susceptible emerged weeds, which can be useful when Praxim is used on high organic matter soils where the active can be bound to the soil, reducing the efficacy. Where significant weed emergence is present at application the addition of a specific contact herbicide is recommended.
Praxim may be tank mixed to achieve control of some more difficult weeds, eg. cleavers with Gamit (clomazone) or prosulfocarb, the latter being a useful partner on very light soils. For improved control of high polygonum populations it is suggested to tank mix with a metribuzin based product or pendimethalin if metribuzin sensitivity is an issue. Optimum weed control will be achieved when soils are moist at or shortly following application. Praxim is physically compatible with all major potato herbicides.