Asulam is the only selective herbicide available for bracken control. The Bracken Control Group has secured an exemption from EU regulations to allow asulam to be sold and used in the UK in 2014.
Bracken Control Group update
The Bracken Control Group has circulated its latest newsletter. It is anticipated that the label conditions will be the same as for the 2013 authorisation. Subject to label conditions, the 2014 EA will approve the application of asulam using helicopter, tractor / vehicle mounted spray booms and boomless sprayers, or knapsack sprayer / hand lance for spot or overall application.
The key approval dates for 2014 are expected to be as follows:
- 19th May 2014. Start of the emergency authorisation period of 120 days. Storage, promotion, sales, and transfer authorised.
- 1st July 2014. Application of asulam products can commence.
- 16th September 2014. First expiry date: for sale & distribution of stocks. Application can continue
- 31st October 2014. Final expiry date: for disposal, storage and use of stocks. It will be illegal to apply or store asulam products after this date.
Find out more
During a review of pesticides asulam was removed from a list of chemicals approved for use within the EU. This decision, taken by the EU’s European Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health was related to concerns about the chemical’s safety when used on spinach and other food crops.
As a result, since 1 January 2013, it has been illegal to use or store asulam products throughout the EU.
However, a Bracken Control Group was set up in 2011 to help advise landowners and managers and to secure exemptions to allow asulam use to continue in the UK.
The Bracken Control Group secured an emergency derogation for 2013 and has recently secured another such derogation for 2014.
The ongoing support of United Phosphorus Ltd, Defra and the Chemicals Regulation Directorate of the Health & Safety Executive in applications for emergency derogations is critical.