Herbicides Forefront and Pharaoh have returned to the market under strict control, following a period of voluntary withdrawal.
Based on aminopyralid, the products were taken off the market in 2008 after traces of the weed killer were found in manures used on allotments and gardens.
For 2010, Forefront and Pharaoh will only be available in the south west of England (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire), Scotland and Northern Ireland, says Robin Bentley, Dow product manager.
“Our aim is that through careful stewardship, Forefront and Pharaoh will return to UK-wide sales in 2011.”
These products can now only be used on pasture grazed by cattle or sheep and cannot be applied to any grassland intended for silage or hay.
“Additionally, all farmers who want to use the product must seek appropriate advice from a BASIS-registered adviser and, before they buy, must sign to say they understand the implications regarding manure,” Mr Bentley explains.
Only distributors who formally sign up to the new requirements – which include staff re-training – will be able to supply products.
Forefront and Pharaoh gained a new approval for use on UK farms last autumn, but with new recommendations for its use and the management of any manure arising from treated pasture. Since then, Dow AgroSciences has been re-training advisers and supply routes to ensure the stewardship package is fully understood.
“In our first year back we are focused on ensuring all involved in advice and supply of the product, understand the new stewardship programme and we can monitor use carefully.
“The areas chosen for use represent intensive grassland and where there is a relatively high need for effective weed control solutions. In addition, the likelihood of manure moving to allotments and gardens is less,” Mr Bentley adds.