The supply of treated seed to UK farms is set to be secured after the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) worked with the government and industry to seek a solution.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced that a Statutory Instrument (the most common form of secondary legislation) has been laid before parliament, to enable farmers to have continued access to seed treated with plant protection products (PPPs) imported from the EU.

Post-EU exit arrangements meant that after 31 December 2023, PPP-treated seed can only be traded and used in Great Britain if it’s been treated with a product authorised for that purpose in Great Britain. This risked significant disruption of treated seed supply from the EU.

In collaboration with other industry stakeholders, AIC worked with Defra to seek a resolution to the seed treatment rule changes ahead of the deadline. The temporary measures announced must now be approved by parliament so that the emergency legislation can take effect before the end of 2023.

Valuable seed treatments

Hazel Doonan, AIC’s Head of Crop Protection and Agronomy says the AIC is pleased that this legislation has finally been brought forward. “Once passed, this will give confidence to seed importers, distributors and their farming customers to plan ahead for the 2024 season and beyond.”

The temporary measures will allow farmers in Great Britain to continue using seed treated with PPPs authorised for use in the EU up to 1 July 2027, instead of 31 December 2023, as long as the PPPs remain authorised in at least one EU or EEA Member State.