The European Union has announced the ban on methiocarb slug pellets will start this autumn giving growers until 19 September 2014 to buy these pesticide products.
Growers will have until 19 September 2015, to use up stocks they have on their farms.
The EU ruled in January that these poison-baited pellets would be banned due to their hazardous effect on grain-eating farm birds such as sparrows and finches but gave no detailed dates.
See also: EU vote to ban methiocarb slug pellets
Bayer CropScience is the only global manufacturer of methiocarb, which is used in products such as Draza Forte and Decoy Wetex, and has about a 15% share of the British slug pellet market worth about £30m annually.
“This is in line with our expectations, and will allow potato and other high-value crop growers at least one more season of using methiocarb as their front-line defence against slugs,” says Peter Stacey, the group’s molluscicides manager.
The ruling does not affect other uses of methiocarb such as in seed treatments such as Mesurol.
The other major slug pellet product used in the UK is metaldehyde, which accounts for about 80% of the market, but it has come under pressure after the product has been found in watercourses.
Tighter controls over metaldehyde-based slug pellets are likely in high-risk water catchment areas to try and cut pesticide levels in drinking water, which will leave only ferric phosphate pellets as an alternative.