Thursday, 19 December 2019
It is anticipated that movement of recently-lifted crop will continue around Christmas and the New Year, with much of that crop going straight to market. This means that some of your stores are likely to be empty very soon, providing an opportunity to undertake some cleaning in preparation for the vital 2020 storage season.
We do not yet know the status of any temporary Maximum Residue Levels (tMRL) for CIPC that we hope will be granted by the EU commission - but this should not put anyone off from begining the clean-up operations that are likely to be a vital part of complying with the tMRL when it is set.
CIPC timelines and status of tMRL
The ‘use-up’ date for CIPC was announced by the Chemicals Regulations Directorate (CRD) on 19 November. CIPC will lose it approval on 8 January 2020, with use up of products in stores possible for the rest of this season. From 8 October next year no further use is permitted and the current Maximum Residue Levels (MRL) of 10 mg/kg for CIPC on ware potatoes will no longer hold.
As a result, growers are being urged not to apply CIPC to any stored crop in 2020.
The CIPC approval holders have applied to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for a realistic and achievable temporary MRL (tMRL), based around empirical evidence from a CIPC residue study in 2018/19 that captured 358 North Western European store samples. In the UK, the work was done by Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research (SBCSR) on 11 stores. Overall, residue levels of approximately 0.4 mg/kg were detected for 95 % of sampled stores and it is anticipated that any tMRL, if granted, will have a similar value. Going forward, an industry-wide effort to minimising CIPC residues from historic use is likely to be one of the conditions imposed for a tMRL so cleaning will be key.
Store cleaning guidance
Store cleaning is a fundamental part of managing a store and will become increasingly important as the industry looks to reduce CIPC residue levels in store. For those likely to have empty stores in the coming weeks, the following steps will help reduce CIPC residue levels and keep a clean store overall:
- At this stage in the season, washing is not recommended.
- Focus should be on removing all loose dust and detritus with a vacuum (preferable to a brush) but use a wire brush or chisel to remove more firmly attached deposits. This must be done with due regard to Health & Safety regulations.
- Let open air move through your store via open louvres and doors, so that any CIPC residue present in the store environment can be released. This should be done as long as there is no danger of vermin gaining access to other crops and nearby stores.
- Boxes should be left to be weathered outside to encourage the natural breakdown of any CIPC present in the timber.
A store-cleaning protocol is in the pipeline for spring 2020. Have a read of the cleaning section of the Store Managers Guide for further tips and guidance on store cleaning. You can also get in touch with an AHDB storage specialist by calling the Storage Advice Line on 0800 02 82 111.