Asulam - another season of emergency authorisation secured

27 July 2022

Environment Hill and upland farming

In late June 2022, the emergency authorisation came through allowing Asulam to be used for seasonal bracken control, but with significant restrictions.

Key points 

The key points for 2022 use are:

  • Application was authorised from 1 July. To minimise interaction with breeding birds, where feasible, application should take place after 1 August, or as late in July as possible. To protect mammals, application is not allowed where the hazel dormouse is known to breed.
  • Aerial application has been authorised subject to an aerial spraying permit being obtained; the regulator will provide template application forms.
  • As for 2021, ground-based application has been authorised for conservation areas only, which have a statutory conservation designation. There is no change to the buffer zones included in previous authorisations.
  • The emergency authorisation period will end on 12 September for placing on the market and for use - no spraying is to take place after this date.
  • Returns of unopened containers will be accepted by distributors and it will be illegal to hold stocks of Asulox after 28 October. Part-used containers will have to be disposed of through approved waste disposal contractors at the farmer’s expense.
  • Asulox will be available through nominated distributors in 1,000 litre and 20 litre containers. Despite strong requests five and 10 litre packs will once again not be available.

To meet the requirements of Appendix 3 (Stewardship) of the EA approval, distributors, contractors, and users of Asulox are asked to ensure that details of the application of the product are provided to the Bracken Control Group. Details and a form are available on the Asulam webpage. This information is required to allow data to be provided in support of further future applications for the use of Asulox. All details will be aggregated before submission so that individual information is not made public.

Full details are available on the Bracken Control website.

Restrictive conditions

This approval is welcome, but we remain worried about the increasingly restrictive conditions. This includes those that wish to treat small areas or have land where bracken needs controlling that is not designated conservation land. We will continue to seek changes and will keep pushing for the return of full approval for Asulam as soon as possible.

Meanwhile the threats from bracken on grazing, health and conservation are increasing year-on-year as less areas are treated. It is imperative that Asulam remains available as a tool to control this creeping weed.

More information

Find more information on the Bracken Control Group website.

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