Glyphosate stewardship

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Glyphosate stewardship

Glyphosate has been reapproved in the EU and it is important steps are taken to ensure its continued availability and efficacy. Good stewardship requires the responsible and ethical management of a product through its entire life cycle – from discovery, to use and beyond – to minimise any potential impact on human health or the environment.

Although stewardship is the responsibility of the whole industry, protecting glyphosate from development of resistance and reducing the risk of residues or off-target implications is the responsibility of those recommending and applying products – right across agriculture, horticulture and amenity.

On this web page you can access best practice guidance which, when used alongside label recommendations, will help you maintain glyphosate performance, minimise residues and protect water.

Read our article: Stewarding glyphosate's future (CPM article, July 2018)

Maintain performance

Examples of glyphosate resistant weed populations have been identified in Europe, although there have been no confirmed cases in the UK. With widespread resistance to other herbicides combined with the loss of key herbicides, it is vital to prevent resistance and retain the efficacy of glyphosate.

Clear guidelines have been developed by the Weed Resistance Action Group (WRAG). Straightforward and easy to implement, all users of glyphosate are encouraged to follow them to minimise the risk of glyphosate resistance occuring here in the UK.

Minimising the risk of glyphosate resistance (short)

Guidelines for minimising the risk of glyphosate resistance in the UK (full)

Minimise residues

Glyphosate products may be used pre-harvest on a range of cereal, oilseed and pulse crops to control weeds, aid harvesting and protect grain quality and food safety.

To ensure any residues are kept to a minimum, it is important to adhere to label recommendations and harvest intervals and to follow best practice guidance.

Pre-harvest glyphosate use in cereals and oilseed rape

Glyphosate: safety of residue levels reviewed (EFSA news item)

Protect water

Glyphosate binds strongly to soil particles and organic matter and is metabolised by microorganisms. As glyphosate is the most widely used active substance, however, it remains vital that best application practice measures are followed to avoid spray drift and run-off.

The Voluntary Initiative has produced several Environmental Information Sheets for glyphosate products. Each highlights situations where risk management is essential to ensure environmental protection.

Environmental Information Sheets