According to a report by the Spanish news publication Agrodigital, there are mounting concern among European growers that the commonly used sprout inhibitor Chlorpropham (CIPC) might be banned.
CIPC was approved for use on potatoes in longterm storage during the 2018/19 production season, but there is wide concern that it will not be approved for the next storage season. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has in fact recommended that it not be allowed for use after the coming season.
Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed in the European Commission had a vote on the use of CIPC as a herbicide and sprout inhibitor scheduled for this past December, but the vote never took place. It is expected to happen any day soon, though.
French growers who expect that the ban will indeed happen said their strategy will be to “stagger” their crops at planting time to try and “stretch” the growing and storage season of the crops that will go into storage, since the eventual storage period during which the crop can be stored will inevitably be shorter without application of CIPC.
The French farmers pointed out that this will have a definitive impact on the market and that imported potatoes might benefit at a certain point in the season, whilst a certain percentage of French export markets might get lost in the process.