Chlorpyrifos withdrawal


Chlorpyrifos withdrawal

Following the announcement to withdraw products containing chlorpyrifos in the UK, AHDB has reviewed its guidance to help growers and farmers assess pest control options.

AHDB is updating its guidance but, due to number of resources impacted, will prioritise updates by importance.

This web page collates AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds resources affected by the withdrawal. 

About the withdrawal

• With effect from 1st April 2016, the only permitted use of chlorpyrifos will be protected brassica seedling drench treatment applied via automated gantry sprayer

• All other uses of chlorpyrifos are withdrawn with effect from 1st April 2016

• Storage, disposal and relabelling of any existing chlorpyrifos stocks must be completed by 1st October 2016

Further information is available from the Health and Safety Executive website

Cereals and Oilseeds

Chlorpyrifos was not authorised for use in oilseed rape and its withdrawal does not influence pest control challenges facing this crop. In cereal production, chlorpyrifos was used to control several pests.

Wheat bulb fly

For wheat bulb fly, seed treatments can help protect crops drilled after November. Irrespective of drilling date, growers will need to deploy more cultural control measures, particularly in higher-risk situations, and these are described in our updated wheat bulb fly publication.

Orange wheat blossom midge

For orange wheat blossom midge, 14 winter wheat varieties on the AHDB Recommended Lists are believed to be resistant to the pest. For susceptible crops, alternative chemistry is available but spray timing will be more critical. Growers are advised to follow the monitoring and threshold information detailed in the updated orange wheat blossom midge publication.


For aphids, chlorpyrifos was an option to limit grain aphid feeding damage in wheat in the spring/summer. Although pyrethroids and pirimicarb are alternatives, resistance to pyrethroids in grain aphid is widespread (at a low frequency) and authorisations for pirimicarb are set to end on 31 July 2017. For further information, read our controlling aphids and virus diseases in cereals and oilseed rape publication.

Frit fly and leatherjackets

For frit fly and leatherjackets, there is no chemical alternative to chlorpyrifos. Cereals sown after grass are at particular risk. Growers are advised to plough out grass early, prepare a firm seed bed, leave at least four weeks between sward destruction and drilling, and to roll the crop to encourage tillering. The AHDB encyclopaedia of pests and natural enemies in field crops includes sections on non-chemical control of frit fly and leatherjackets.

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