Sep. 18, 2015
Root crop growers in the UK will have to endure critically low supplies of a key nematicide in 2016 as attempts to restart its production are delayed.
An accident at DuPont’s factory in La Porte, Texas, last November left four workers dead and production of two of its key insecticide active ingredients ground to a halt.
One of those actives is oxamyl – contained in granular product Vydate – and is a key weapon for controlling nematode pests in potatoes, carrots, parsnips and beet crops. It also has an important off-label approval for use in onions and garlic.
The company said that it has been working closely with US authorities to make the facility to the East of Houston safe to recommence operations.
However, it has come to light that a safe start-up will not be possible until at least January 2016, leading to a much more serious shortage of Vydate for next spring.
DuPont has no stocks of the product left after selling out in 2015, with UK distributors also unlikely to be carrying significant quantities.
UK marketing manager Neil Beadle said that it would result in a difficult situation for Vydate users, but stressed people lost their lives in the accident and as such, a safe start-up at the Texan facility was its priority.
“We are letting growers know (about the shortage) in time, as they will soon be soil sampling and planning rotations for next spring.
“They can now make the hard decisions knowing there will be little or no Vydate available,” he said.
Mr Beadle added that DuPont was committed to the key product and will be back in the market for 2017 with suitable supplies.