The Environmental Protection Agency announced last week that chlorpyrifos can no longer be used on food crops. The decision is posing new problems for fruit, vegetable, and soybean growers.
American Farm Bureau’s Sam Kieffer says producers must now turn to fewer, less effective, and more expensive pesticides.
“For some crops like soybeans, there are some alternatives, but none of them have quite the broad spectrum of coverage, as chlorpyrifos. There are other crops, many specialty crops, where there are no alternatives. And EPA says they’re committed to work with the private sector to bring new chemistries to the market and get approval, but that is a lengthy process—we’re talking years.”
Chlorpyrifos has proven effective, even when other pesticides failed.
“What this means is a very effective product is no longer available, and they need to utilize additional chemistries, and that might be one, two or three-products to replace the one that they used to use,” says Kieffer. “And, that could lead to higher costs, it could also lead to more difficulty of getting the job done, and there’s a lot of variables when it comes to yields, but there could be a potential there, as well.”
Farm Bureau President Zippy Duval commented, “This administration has repeatedly made commitments to abide by science, yet the EPA decision on chlorpyrifos strays from that commitment and takes away an important tool to manage pests and insects.”
According to EPA’s decision, growers must discontinue use of chlorpyrifos on registered food crops within six months.
Source: NAFB News Service