Emergency Authorisations for maize seed treatments hailed by AIC as key to maintain supply for 2024
The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) has hailed news that the supply of treated maize seed to farms across Great Britain can continue into 2024 after Emergency Authorisations (EAs) were granted, providing the industry with confidence.
On 10 November the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed that EAs for three commonly used seed treatments for maize have been approved after AIC worked with the Government and industry to avert a major shortage.
Post-EU Exit arrangements meant that after 31 December 2023, seed treated with a plant protection product (PPP) could only be traded and used in Great Britain if it had been treated with a product authorised for that purpose in Great Britain. This risked significant disruption of treated seed supply from the European Union.
AIC, which represents the UK agri-supply industry, had been calling on Defra to approve EAs for the seed treatments Korit, Redigo and Force in England after Scottish and Welsh counterparts did so last month.
Seed treatments help to protect young plants from harmful pests and diseases as the crop grows through its early stages. These seed treatments are particularly important for maize, a crucial crop for dairy cattle diets and energy production.
Hazel Doonan, AIC's Head of Crop Protection and Agronomy, said: "AIC has been working hard with government and industry to mitigate a cliff edge moment at the end of the year where the supply of treated maize seed would have been severely impacted from the start of the new year.
"These Emergency Authorisations for three seed treatments give vital reassurance to maize growers, livestock farmers, the bioenergy sector and the supply chain that maize production can continue in Great Britain beyond 2023."
Longer term solution
It follows a Defra announcement on 24 October that a Statutory Instrument had been laid before Parliament which will enable farmers and growers to have continued access to seeds treated with PPPs imported from the EU.
This legislation is expected to pass before the end of this year and will mean that farmers and growers in Great Britain can continue using seeds treated with PPPs authorised for use in the EU up to 1 July 2027, as long as the PPPs are authorised in at least one EU or EEA Member State.