Growers will have until March 2009 to use up around 30 products containing trifluralin, after the herbicide active ingredient failed to be re-registered under European legislation.


The EC decision to not re-register trifluralin because of safety concerns should be published around September 2007 after the recent vote at the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, according to a statement issued by the Pesticides Safety Directorate.


Approval for advertisement, sale, supply, storage and use by manufacturers will be revoked six months after that date in March 2008, with a likely further 12 month use-up period for distributors and growers.


Ten manufacturers have registrations for trifluralin-containing products currently in the UK, with popular products, Treflan, Alpha Trifluralin, Hawk, Uranus and Ardent among those losing their approvals.


Manufacturers could, if they wished, submit new evidence supporting inclusion of trifluralin in Annex 1, PSD said. “The draft Decisions state that early re-application should allow evaluation and decision on possible Annex 1 inclusion before the period of grace lapses.”


A re-submission was likely, according to Anne Thompson, head of developnment and regulatory affairs for Dow AgroScience. “We’re still to make a final decision, but the intention at the moment is to re-apply. We do realise how important trifluralin is to the UK market.”