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Latest Newsletters

  • 03 Nov 2020
    Asulam Emergency Authorisation Application

    The application to permit the use of Asulam for bracken control for the 2021 season was submitted to the Chemicals Registration Division of HSE, on 30 October 2020. It is likely that a response will be provided in late January or early February; this will depend on the timing of the meeting of the Expert Committee on Pesticides.

    To provide background to the application, the BCG submitted some Supporting information that highlighted
    the three key issues for the BCG: review of the 90m buffer zone introduced in 2020, review of the one-month exclusion period for livestock, and the maintenance of ground-based control options. The application also outlined the expanding research programme that is developing the evidence base to support the need for bracken control by all means, including chemical control with Asulam and/or other active ingredients.

    For more information see the Asulam page of the website -

  • 23 Sep 2020
    Asulam update

    The Emergency Authorisation (EA) for the application of Asulam for controlling bracken ended on 14th September. The EA continues until 31st October to allow the storage and transfer of Asulam stocks, but after this date it will be illegal to hold Asulam.

    The manufacturer of Asulam (UPL Europe Ltd) will accept the return of unused, sealed containers through their distributors, but any returns should be carried out as soon as possible.

    Preparations of an application for an Emergency Authorisation to cover the 2021 bracken control season are in progress and updates will be provided as the application proceeds.

    Thanks to those who completed the Asulam Application Record form that provides details of the use of Asulam this year. This information will assist the application process for the EA for 2021. If anyone has yet to provide details of where Asulam was applied this year, it is not too late; please could you complete and return the form. With this information there is a better chance that the EA for 2021 will be approved.

    There are three options for providing the information: the online form; completing the form on a PC/MAc in Word and returning as an e-mail attachment, or by post; download and print the form, complete it by hand and return a scanned copy or a photograph of the completed form. See:

    As it will not be possible to set up a meeting for the BCG sector representatives this year, I am proposing to set up a video call so that a discussion can take place about current bracken control issues. I will arrange this so that there will be an opportunity to consider a draft of the 2021 EA application. It is intended to submit this at the end of October.

  • 13 Aug 2020
    Some bracken spraying continuing

    Bracken die-back has not occurred everywhere and it is proving possible to carry out some spraying in carefully selected areas. To ensure that the treatment will be effective, it is important to assess the condition of the bracken carefully before applying the treatment. Aerial and ground-based contractors will be able to advise.

  • 11 Aug 2020
    Bracken Die-back

    Reports from around the UK have indicated that the die-back of bracken has occurred early this year, and this will limit the effectiveness of bracken control techniques. Aerial application of Asulam has ceased and anyone planning to use ground-based chemical control application is advised to check the bracken carefully beforehand. Die-back shows itself as a browning of the tips of the fronds after full-extension and in this state, the flow of nutrients, which carries the chemical into the rhizomes to restrict next year's growth, starts to reduce.

  • 10 Jul 2020
    Use of Amidosulfuron - Natural England Position - July 2020

    Amidosulfuron products offer a potential alternative to Asulam for bracken control, but there are concerns about the impact that these products might have if used more extensively. Research is in progress, but while these uncertainties remain, Natural England will "not issue consent on SSSIs for Amidosulfuron use for bracken control except on geological sites where there are no biological features of interest."

    The full statement is available from the BCG website at:, and there is a link from the Asulam page of the website.

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