European Union sales of methiocarb slug pellets will cease on 19 September 2014, it has been confirmed, following the EU’s decision to withdraw approval for use of the active substance as a slug control product.
While methiocarb will still be permitted when used in other products, for example seed treatments, growers will no longer be able to buy it as a molluscicide when the ruling comes into effect. The usual 12-month use-up period will apply, so the final date for using on-farm stocks will be 19 September 2015.
“Methiocarb pellets were felt to pose a risk to grain-eating birds,” says Eric Gussin, AXCELA marketing manager for Lonza. “Potato growers are likely to be the most affected by this withdrawal, because of the frequency with which they treat their crops, especially the more susceptible varieties.
“Growers are now going to have to rethink their slug control strategies to reflect the loss of that active substance, and decide how they can make use of the two that remain approved for slug control.”
Mr Gussin says that growers should resist the temptation to stock up on methiocarb pellets before this September’s withdrawal from sale, for use over the next two seasons before the EU-wide ban comes into effect.
“That would be the wrong thing to do - it’s just delaying the inevitable.“
Discuss the problem with your agronomist or adviser now, and start to think about how your slug control strategy will need to change. Look at this as an opportunity to trial a different strategy, in the knowledge that you’ve two seasons in which to see what works best for you, on your land.
“Don’t leave it until 2016 to decide what your post-methiocarb strategy will be.”