Rotam has reiterated its support for sulfonylurea herbicides (SUs) at a conference held in Frankfurt, Germany.
Delegates from across Europe were told at the Rotam-organised event on Thursday 21 September that, despite a challenging regulatory environment with a number of active ingredients (AIs) under threat of being withdrawn, most notably glyphosate, the business would strengthen its commitment to SUs.
Rotam representatives speaking at the conference reiterated that it would take a minimum of 10 years to develop new chemistry for broad leaved weed control, and the effective use of existing chemistry is going to be important in over the short to medium term. As a result, Rotam is investing in its regulatory capability in order to ensure its SUs will continue to be renewed for use at EU level and that its formulated products are re-registered by each individual Member State (MS).
“With environmental standards becoming more demanding it is important to have a detailed understanding of the chemistry and the capability to deal with an increasingly complex regulatory environment across the EU, and within each MS,” said Rotam Regulatory Affairs and Product Development Senior Manager James Anderdon (pictured below). “Rotam thoroughly understands these challenges and can offer those recommending, buying and using SU products from our portfolio the confidence that we’ll support them.
“We’ve yet to see harmonisation of EU regulations across Europe – each MS can have differing approaches, timelines and mitigation measures. As a result, it is difficult to predict the outcomes of re-registrations. However, our strong regulatory team will continue to support the position that SUs are essential in cereal weed management programmes across the continent and cannot be replaced.”
Rotam Senior Vice-President Dr Yifan Wu said his business’s SU products were backed by world-class research and development facilities in China, with its AIs being produced to exceptionally high standards.
Dr Wu outlined Rotam’s sophisticated approach to development of SU formulations, with 230 patents granted. He also explained how the company employed screening and experimental farms in product development, as well as global field trials – with 3500 conducted in Europe alone.
“Our facilities mean we can offer a sustainable supply of SU products,” Dr Wu said. “Our products are sold in 69 countries and on more than 10 crops with excellent customer feedback.”
The conference also examined the issue of resistance and how it could impact on the longevity of SUs.
SU specialist Phillipe Thiebault said earlier application to weeds could not only reduce the risk of resistance, but also boost the effectiveness of the product – even at a lower dose rate. With subtle changes in spraying strategies and correct management, he said that SUs would be in the market for the next 20 years and could continue to deliver efficient, cost-effective weed control to growers.
Rotam’s SU products include Metsulfuron (Savvy Premium); Metsulfuron and Thifensulfuron (Ergon); Thifensulfuron and Tribenuron (Hiatus); and Tribenuron and Metsulfuron (Boudha).