- The impending ban on maize seed treatments has been lifted following a successful lobbying campaign, with the granting of Emergency Authorisations allowing seed treated with three key seed treatments to be imported into and grown in the UK in 2024
The future viability of maize being grown in the UK has been in question due to an impending ban on seed treatments not registered for use in the UK. These include Korit (ziram) bird deterrent, Redigo M (prothioconazole + metalaxyl) fungicide and Force 20 CS (tefluthrin) insecticide, with the use of all three products due to be banned from 31st December 2023. After this date it would have been illegal to import, sell or sow any seed which has been treated with any of these products, putting into doubt the future viability of maize grown for livestock forage or as a feedstock for anaerobic digestion (AD) plants.
“Without a suitable bird repellent, insecticide and fungicide, there’s a substantial risk that newly drilled crops could be completely wiped out by corvid grazing, or seriously hindered by insect damage and soil-borne pathogens,” explains Tim Richmond, Maize Manager for Limagrain Field Seeds in the UK and Ireland.
“To counter the ban, which has threatened the industry as a result of the UK’s departure from the EU, Limagrain set up and spearheaded an industry working group to lobby the Government into taking action. We can now announce that all three products have been granted an Emergency Authorisation, meaning that treated seed will be allowed to be imported into, and used in the UK next year.”
But the campaign doesn’t end here Mr Richmond continues. “Whilst the emergency use authorisations are a significant win for the industry, they are by no means a permanent solution. We are therefore continuing to lobby on behalf of all UK maize growers to secure a more sustainable solution in the form of a longer-term delay on the ban which will require a change in UK law, and will encourage the CRD (Chemicals Regulation Division) to ensure the next generation of maize seed treatments are approved at a regulatory level as quickly as possible.”