Wilding conifer weedkiller approved

A weedkiller to target wilding conifers has been approved for use in New Zealand, with controls.

Method 240 SL is a herbicide used to control wilding conifers and other woody plants on non-crop farmland, conservation land and recreational parks.

It contains the active ingredient aminocyclopyrachlor, which is new to New Zealand. The United States, Canada, and Australia have previously approved the active ingredient.

Bayer CropScience Proprietary Limited applied to import or manufacture Method 240 SL. The company said the new herbicide has fewer hazards, including much lower risks to people, with lower application rates than other herbicides currently used on wilding conifers.

“The Decision-Making Committee has imposed strict rules for how Method 240 SL can be packaged, labelled, stored, disposed, transported, handled, and used,” said Dr Lauren Fleury, the Environmental Protection Authority’s Hazardous Substances Applications Manager.

“The Committee considers that, with these controls in place, the risks to human health and the environment are negligible, while the benefits to ecosystems and landscapes threatened by wilding conifers will be significant.”

The committee received nine submissions on the application – three supported the application and six opposed it. A public hearing was held on 18 May 2022.

The EPA regulates chemicals and other dangerous goods and substances under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act. Rules are set to safeguard people and the environment.

Read more on the decision on Method 240 SL

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog