Pesticides - I think I am going mad

Bogweevil

Member
Pesticide regulations clearly apply to marketing of plant protection products. Only approved products containing authorised active ingredients, wetters, synergists and other additives can be sold.

I am not clear on the situation if you want, say, to use common salt as a herbicide. It is not sold as a pesticide. I cannot find anything that says you cannot use it or indeed other common chemicals bearing in mind REACH, COSSH and other regulations. Like many other basic chemicals it is no longer approved as 'basic substance'. I suppose being listed as a basic substance meant that it could be offered as plant protection product and without basic substance approval it is illegal to offer it it as a herbicide. Clearly it can be sold for washing up machines etc.

I have searched the regulations for clarification in vain - can anyone help?

Thanks in advance.
 
We have applied agricultural salt as a fertiliser but not heard of it being used as a herbicide in this country. It's commonly sold as a fertiliser and I see no reason why you couldn't do the same but not sure what you want to achieve. Salt is best used for small-scale gardening where it will be easily diluted by rain or watering, however. If salt is used on a large scale, it can create soil conditions that are not suitable for growing plants for quite some time.
 

Dry Rot

Member
Livestock Farmer
Wouldn't this be another case where the law is deliberately vague or silent, leaving it to the courts to decide? Using a teaspoon of salt to kill a dock is unlikely to get you a prison sentence but dumping a tonne of the stuff might do. Many won't agree with me but most of the time, the law is just common sense.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Using salt as a herbicide on a small scale has been discussed on here before. I might tag @Kiwi Pete because I think he had some info on it
It definitely works, I've just established a covercrop using a little bit of salt & vinegar & humate to suppress PP

BUT I also have no idea how your regs work, if biostimulants etc have to be regulated then salt is probably far far too dangerous!

It's led to the untimely death of Nissan Navaras, and you want to spray it on food? Madman!
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
20200215_145858.jpg

Don't know how rainfast it is.
This was sprayed on a heavy dew, a week later I drilled it, by the end of the following week it had seen 219mm of rain on it....

This was a 'chemical topping' experiment, 125g salt per hectare was all I used, the distilled vinegar probably did more TBH than the wee bit of salt.
To help make it safe we added a litre of liquid humate, a litre of acetic acid (homebrew apple vinegar put through my still) and 150 litres of water/hectare.
Probably as effective as 90g of glyphosate on its ownsome
20200215_144315.jpg
 

Pasty

Member
Location
Devon
I was messing around with spot spraying spear and creeping thistle. To be honest it didn't work in my case. Maybe not enough application. It turned them brown initially but then they recovered later in the year. What has worked better with my thistles is hard mowing at strategic times alnd allowing grass to out-compete the re-growth. I have come to think that constant hard grazing is a perfect environment for creeping thistle.
 

Bogweevil

Member
I think the pesticide regulations don't prohibit the use of common materials such as salt, but does prohibit marketing of them as pesticides. So liquid sulphur for example can be marketed as fertiliser, Thiotrac for example, bought and used and if you choose to apply it to prevent powdery mildew in peas for example so be. So if you decided that hair lotion was a good insecticide you could legally apply it (bearing in mind the provisions of assurance schemes and contracts).

Where a simple chemical such as potassium hydrogen carbonate (against powdery mildew) is approved as a basic substance it can be, and is, marketed for use as a pesticide.

However as an agronomist I would be wary of recommending using salt or sulphur, as recommending anything but approved pesticides, on label/EAMU/basic substance, seems to be skirting illegal use somehow.
 

Lincs Lass

Member
Location
north lincs
Many years ago there was a product called Dendritic Salt ,,my old boss used it to kill willow weed in sugar beet but it had to be applied through an inter row sprayer , like shoe boxes between the beet rows ,,if it touched the beet leaves it burnt them back
 

woodylane

Member
Location
Lancashire
I've used salt to kill red shank in wall flowers before, sprayed on a hot day it made short work of the red shank. Only downside was the number of bags I had to chuck in the sprayer
 

Brisel

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Midlands
Pesticide regulations clearly apply to marketing of plant protection products. Only approved products containing authorised active ingredients, wetters, synergists and other additives can be sold.

I am not clear on the situation if you want, say, to use common salt as a herbicide. It is not sold as a pesticide. I cannot find anything that says you cannot use it or indeed other common chemicals bearing in mind REACH, COSSH and other regulations. Like many other basic chemicals it is no longer approved as 'basic substance'. I suppose being listed as a basic substance meant that it could be offered as plant protection product and without basic substance approval it is illegal to offer it it as a herbicide. Clearly it can be sold for washing up machines etc.

I have searched the regulations for clarification in vain - can anyone help?

Thanks in advance.

@Woodlander is the best person I know of to answer this. I'd say taking the fertiliser angle would be far easier than the pesticide one.

Is this for a client i.e. needs a formal recommendation?
 

PSQ

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Scottish Borders
This was a 'chemical topping' experiment, 125g salt per hectare was all I used, the distilled vinegar probably did more TBH than the wee bit of salt.
To help make it safe we added a litre of liquid humate, a litre of acetic acid (homebrew apple vinegar put through my still) and 150 litres of water/hectare.

I know you’ve talked about salt improving palatability before, but I have to say your applying salt AND vinegar made me chuckle. You really are going the extra mile for your stock!
 

Bogweevil

Member
Many years ago there was a product called Dendritic Salt ,,my old boss used it to kill willow weed in sugar beet but it had to be applied through an inter row sprayer , like shoe boxes between the beet rows ,,if it touched the beet leaves it burnt them back

Salt had approval as a basic substance for this use - very effective against willow weed (epilobium). No approval now so cannot be marketed as a pesticide, but I suspect that it is not illegal to use salt, but it is to market it as a herbicide.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
A cow is a fertiliser because she helps feed the soil, with what the air and the sun grew

Therefore a(an) herbicide can also be deemed a fertiliser unless the resultant dead plant material is removed in its entirety?
... topping pastures to decompose, or even weather making your crop unharvestable, all these things benefit your soil foodweb

Thus salt is definitely 'a fertiliser' - it can't not be, unless there's too much of it
 

Bogweevil

Member
@Woodlander is the best person I know of to answer this. I'd say taking the fertiliser angle would be far easier than the pesticide one.

Is this for a client i.e. needs a formal recommendation?

No, I am writing an article for a trade magazine so rather sensitive. I am meeting CRD tomorrow but they always take the view that I am trying to play fast and loose with the regulations. I just want a clear understanding is all.
 

Brisel

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Midlands
No, I am writing an article for a trade magazine so rather sensitive. I am meeting CRD tomorrow but they always take the view that I am trying to play fast and loose with the regulations. I just want a clear understanding is all.

Ok, fair enough. Do PM Woodlander - he's a BASIS trainer and knows chapter and verse about the subject.
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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