2020 Harvest Pesticide Survey Highlights Key Role of Biox-M

The recently published 'Pesticide Usage Survey for Potato Stores' for the 2020 harvest, perhaps unsurprisingly, highlights the important role of Biox-M (spearmint oil) in keeping British potatoes in store free from sprouts in the absence of CIPC. The Survey is carried out every two years, the previous one in 2018, when CIPC dominated sprout suppression. How the world has changed with the announcement on 19th June 2019 to remove CIPC in short order.

For the 2018 harvest season, the survey suggested that a modest 122,985 tonnes (5% of total tonnage, which had received chemical sprout control) had been treated with Biox-M, and that all the crop treated with Biox-M was held in refrigerated box stores.

This is no surprise; a number of users in the fresh market, had, for a number of reasons and for a number of years, had chosen not to use CIPC. Use of Biox-M had been growing steadily since first approved in November 2012. Foggers and store keepers in the fresh sector were comfortable with treatment and efficacy.

For harvest 2020, the world was turned upside down, as the processing sector had to learn how to use a new, volatile product in a hurry. Experience from nearly a decade of use in the UK and Europe, considerable fogger expertise, and a good understanding of what needed to be done in store to deliver efficacy resulted in an exceptionally positive outcome. And this is borne out by the numbers from the 2020 Survey, which saw a similar total tonnage of potatoes treated as in 2018.

From a position as an important but minor player in the market, Biox-M moved to one of market dominance. The Survey indicates that 76% of stored crop which received sprout control was treated with Biox-M, an estimate of 1,638,407 tonnes, a thirteen fold increase.  Perhaps the most pleasing aspect, indicated by the wide range of positive anecdotal comments at BP2021, and supported by the very low number of customer concerns raised during the first season of widespread use, is the Survey confirmation of such a high level of market penetration by a product, new for many, but one which also has a number of very positive sustainability characteristics.

Biox-M is a naturally occurring product, which sequesters carbon during growth and leaves no long term residue in boxes or stores. 

7th March 2022


Notes for Editors

Biox-M is 100% spearmint oil, the ONLY completely natural product approved for use as a potato sprout suppressant.

- Biox-M has been approved for use in the UK since November 2012.

- Biox-M is in widespread use in the UK, on the continent and in other markets around the world.

- Biox-M is applied to stores as a hot fog, and turns to vapour in store. As a volatile vapour retention is store following treatment is essential.

- Biox-M leaves no long-term residue on boxes or buildings used for storage


Nick Tapp 

07775 785748 [email protected]