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Metalaxyl-M seed treatment withdrawals confirmed

Product Update
25.05.2021
Bean crops at risk without seed treatment

The UK pesticides’ regulatory authority, CRD (Chemicals Regulation Division), has confirmed the imminent withdrawal of a number of key seed treatments widely used by UK vegetable growers.

Under the withdrawal conditions, the sale and open field sowing of any seed treated with metalaxyl-M products, including Syngenta’s Wakil XL, Maxim XL and Vibrance SB, must cease on 30 June in Great Britain, but as soon as 1 June in Northern Ireland.

The products had been a mainstay of fungicide seed treatments for many crops including peas and beans (Wakil XL) and sugar beet (Vibrance SB).

The only remaining use for metalaxyl-M seed treatment will be an amended authorisation for Apron XL for selected brassica crops. That use will be restricted to seed sown and raised under fully protected conditions, with a minimum of 21 days from sowing to planting out.

Although Syngenta had been warning growers of potential threats to metalaxyl-M availability at industry meetings earlier this year, CRD letters of withdrawal were only issued days before the move’s imposition in Northern Ireland – and after many growers’ cropping decisions for this season had already been made. 

Produce from crops sown from seed treated with metalaxyl-M products according to respective label conditions and regulatory notice dates, may still be marketed this season. 

Brassica cabbage leaf

The withdrawal of metalaxyl-M as a seed treatment will put further onus and pressure on foliar fungicide programmes to control early disease infections. There are limited alternative seed treatments available for vegetable growers of some crops, this includes Maxim 480S, utilising the active fludioxonil.

Grower associations may now wish to consider emergency use applications to CRD to gain access to the withdrawn metalaxyl-M products.

Full details of the amended authorisation for Apron XL and the withdrawal of other seed treatments will be available on the CRD website.