A breakthrough emergency authorisation for Cuprokylt® provides the only fungicide available to organic potato growers for the control of late blight, at a key time of the season.

The EAMU was driven by industry leading stakeholders, including Certis, Agrii, the AHDB, NFU and numerous organic growers associations. The active ingredient copper oxychloride is available to organic potato growers until 28 September 2018.

“Being able to utilise copper oxychloride will support organic growers and help them to capitalise on market demand,” said Nick Winmill, Agrii Potato Development Manager.

“Without copper, only cultural control methods are available for the control of late blight in organic potatoes, and as a result it’s been difficult to keep varieties with preferential qualities blight free.

“When wet weather hits and if temperatures remain, blight pressure is likely to increase, so this news comes at a crucial time.”

Mr Winmill said that if another EAMU isn’t secured for copper oxychloride, or if an alternative isn’t found, for use in organic potatoes, then production will only become more difficult in future.

“Although blight resistant varieties are available, these don’t necessarily meet consumer demand for cooking and taste qualities.

“This emergency authorisiation is an important milestone for organic potato production, but there is still work to do to support organic production going forward.”