Japan and Korea have set maximum residue limits for Bayer's Luna-Tranquility fungicide, prompting potato growers to quickly buy up available inventories.
Though Luna received registration from the U.S. EPA in 2012, the major processors instructed growers against using it, until recently, because a maximum residue limit hadn't been set in Japan.
The processors indicated they had no way of segregating products containing potatoes grown with Luna to keep them out of the country. Fresh growers also avoided Luna because their culled spuds are sometimes diverted to processing.
On July 2 the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare approved a 0.02 parts per million maximum residue limit for Luna that took immediate effect. South Korea also recently set an MRL for Luna, 0.5 parts per million.
Growers depleted inventories of the fungicide in the Pasco, Wash., and Twin Falls, Idaho, warehouses within a few days of the product becoming available in the Pacific Northwest, according to an Idaho Bayer sales representative.
More product should be in stock at both warehouse locations by July 12, said Phil Sarasqueta, based in Twin Falls.
SOURCE: John O'Connell, Capital Press