Use by Dates – Fungicides

Great question on Twitter this week that was kindly directed my way by Craig at Colliers (thanks!).

This is better answered on my blog as 280 characters just doesn’t cut it when you start talking about legislation!!

The shelf life of Syngenta products can be measured in years. So why don’t we put a use-by-date on the bottle?

In simple practical terms, our products are formulated to the very highest standard, we include the very best additives to ensure longevity and you’ve got our support however old the product is – we’re here to help.

  • If you have product that you think may be too old to work correctly, ask us
  • If you have some product that doesn’t look right, let us know
  • If you’re not getting the levels of control you want, talk to us

We can make an evaluation based on the batch number, the date of manufacture and the specific product.

Our focus as always remains on support and education for the customer (Blogs, Art of Application, ASOOTY awards, Greencast).

What does the label require?

The below document lays out how labels must be put together for all Professional products.

The Labelling handbook – Link here……

This document covers products that require users to be either certificated or, if the product does not require certification but is used as part of a business or employment and the user must receive training in its use. As such, certificated or trained users should be aware of their obligations in using pesticides and this impacts on the information on the label. (Handbook Language!)

Page 47 section 2.1 is the part that is directly relevant to this question. “Use-by-dates must appear if the 2 year storage stability data evaluated for authorisation indicates an acceptable shelf-life of less than 2 years”.

All of our products at Syngenta are robustly tested and the product stability is in excess of 2 years. So from a legal standpoint it’s not required to place a use-by-date on the bottle.

How can we be confident the products last in store?

We have figures in the background which have been generated by the studies we undertake when registering a product, as well as an in-depth specification for each product.

Every batch of any product we ever make has a sample stored from that batch. Should we ever have an issue with a product (it’s incredibly rare but it has happened) we will test the stored product to check the quality of it falls within the specification.

That way we know we are testing the product that has been stored in the correct temperature range. This enables us to offer the best advice to the customer, whether that be a replacement, or advice and support on how to improve the customers storage facilities, or help to get better results from the product.

So why not put it on the label?

From a global manufacturers’ operational point of view it’s almost impossible. The product is created and, at that point, where in the world it’s going to be used is unknown. It has potential to end up in one of many different destinations.

Which is why it’s formulated to remain stable and effective in such an extreme range of temperatures. Since every country will have its own label, it’s not until it reaches its destination will it be coupled with the appropriate label.

OK, but what is the longevity of these products?

These figures are different in different climates, as the stability of the product is influenced by temperature, which is why it’s so important to store your Plant Protectant Products in a suitable place. Keeping the chemsafe free of frosts or high temperatures will help you get the most longevity out of a product. In fact it’s one of the things we look for when we assess our ASOOTY award entries (Winner Nathan Hume, below). Top Tip – extra marks for an insulated chemsafe.

What does all the testing tell us?

Below is the period the products have been tested to be stable at 20C°. These have to be real time studies and form part of the registration process (yes, registration does require a bottle of PrimoMaxx II to be sat on a shelf for 1095 days).

  • Fungicides 1095 days (3 years)
  • PrimoMaxx II 1095 days (3 years)
  • Ryder 730 days (2 years)
  • Qualibra 1895 days (5 years)

Remember, this is just the point that they have been tested to and remain just as good as the day the product was made.

After this we would look at each situation and enquiry on a case by case basis using this information and if needed we have our stored batch to check it against the specifiaction sheet.

Contact details

glenn.kirby@syngenta.com 07483 333964 golf.syngenta@syngenta.com

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