SOME EMERGENCY use chemistry has come to the aid of UK pumpkin growers aiming to make the most of Halloween.

A perennial problem for UK pumpkin growers – who now harvest 10m each year in the UK – has been yield robbing powdery mildew. This scourge has particularly hit increasing popular unique and novel pumpkin varieties, which are highly susceptible to the disease.

Certis’ IPM manager, Selchuk Kurtev, told The SF, that, in common with other producers of minor crops, pumpkins have suffered from a limited crop protection armoury.

“But that has changed this year with an EAMU [extention of authorisation] for Takumi SC,” he said. “Many growers have been making the most of this for use on pumpkins, which had its usage extended to pumpkin crops in November, 2016.

“Adding another fungicide to the options available has helped maximise yield and crop quality by ensuring leaves and stems remain green for as long as possible and also helps combat the problem of resistance that can occur when too few active ingredients are relied upon."

Feedback on its effectiveness has been positive and many youngsters will have this product to thank for their pristine pumpkins at this scary time of year!