Sales of grassweed herbicide trifluralin to arable farmers extended

The date of the last sales by distributors of the widely-used herbicide trifluralin has been extended until 20 September 2008, the Pesticides Safety Directorate has announced.

Trifluralin manufacturers – Dow AgroSciences and Makhteshim-Agan – must sell and supply products to distributors by the originally announced date of 20 March 2008, but it now gives distributors an extra six months to move the product from their stores onto farms.

Farmers have until 20 March 2009 to use up the product once it is in their possession.

Trifluralin’s removal from the market was triggered by its failure to be recommended for the Annex 1 list of approved substances at a European level earlier this year, although its manufacturers are planning to submit further data to fight that ruling.

The decision would ease congestion in the system, Bob Mills technical manager for Frontier said, and prevent farmers from having to make autumn herbicide decisions early. “It was going to be messy. This will allow easier and freer movement.”

Decisions by distributors about how much stock to hold for the autumn would have to be made soon, he said. Stock levels were likely to be carefully forecasted, possibly involving discussions with growers. “I don’t suppose many distributors will be speculatively buying quantities in, without having a destination for it.”

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