Growers can use fungicide products containing the active ingredient epoxiconazole, such as Adexar, until late 2021, after the Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD) confirmed when the ban on their use would come into effect.
The broad-spectrum azole fungicide was first registered as a molecule in 1993 and has been a mainstay of disease control programmes in a range of crops for more than two decades.
Some of its major uses have been controlling septoria and rusts in wheat, with BASF’s straight epoxiconazole product Opus and more recently its SDHI-azole formulations such as Adexar (fluxapyroxad + epoxiconazole) being familiar product brand names.
It is also an important tool in other cereal crops and sugar beet, where it helps to control beet rust in formulated products such as Opera (epoxiconazole + pyraclostrobin).
The fungicide has been in the regulatory spotlight for a long time, with the EU classifying the active as an endocrine disruptor that poses a risk to human health and the environment.
The active is widely used and the announcement will be welcomed by growers and agronomists alike, as they can now plan with some certainty about its availability over the next 18 months.
Epoxiconazole withdrawal timeline
- Last date for sale and supply: 31 October 2020
- Last date for disposal, storage and use: 31 October 2021