Members of The Scottish Gamekeepers Association who use aerial methods to control bracken are being urged to act now to ensure their contractor for the 2012 season.
Despite the introduction of additional constraints in the wake of the European ban on the use of Asulam, aerial bracken control will take place in Scotland this year.
Nevertheless, unless landowners and managers place their orders now, companies supplying the service may be forced out of business and the most effective method of large scale bracken control could be lost.
A new system for approving aerial spraying is about to come into being following parliamentary approval.
The new system provides for a 5 year permit on each landholding and represents significant de-regulation.
Information on the new system will be posted on http://www.brackencontrol.co.uk/news when available.
Bracken provides a habitat for ticks which threaten animal and human health and being able to halt its spread is crucial for land managers.
It can also render vast areas of land unproductive for grouse or grazing.
Asulam, marketed as Asulox in the UK, has been the key product used to control the invasive spread of bracken on hill ground.
It is the only product on the market which can be used selectively with little damage to neighbouring plants and application by helicopter is the only viable option on hilly terrain.
It can still be used throughout 2012, providing supplies were arranged by 31st December 2011, but all stocks must be used or destroyed by December 31st this year.
EU member countries are expected to apply for special Emergency Authorisations which may permit the use of the product during a 'window' each year after the ban comes into full effect.