The following was released by Syngenta today regarding the
comment period and proposed new safety measures for paraquat herbicide.
Quite a bit of this herbicide/harvest aid is utilized here in our area
and comments are encouraged from the product’s primary users.
EPA Proposes New Safety Measures for Paraquat
Comments Due by December 22, 2020
Paraquat herbicide has been an essential weed-control and resistance-management tool for farmers for over 50 years. When used according to label directions, it continues to be a safe and effective herbicide. It has a broad spectrum and, when used in rotation or mixed with different mode-of-action herbicides, helps maintain herbicide efficacy while reducing the likelihood of herbicide resistance. Paraquat also plays an important role as a desiccant (drying agent), helping farmers harvest their crops. In addition, paraquat helps benefit the environment and improve soil health by enabling conservation tillage and no-till farming practices in many crops.
All pesticide products used in the U.S. are registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through an extensive science review and registration process. EPA re-evaluates product registrations every 15 years; this process began for paraquat in December 2011. Recently EPA published its Proposed Interim Decision (PID), the next step in the registration review process.
EPA has opened a 60-day public comment period for the PID that ends December 22, 2020. The agency will consider all substantial public comments before finalizing these proposed actions. We encourage growers, commodity groups, applicators, retailers, and other interested parties to provide their comments to EPA.
• You can provide comments at https://beta.regulations.gov/commenton/EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0855-0208 (copy and paste to your browser if the link does not work directly).
The PID proposed the following changes for paraquat:
• Prohibiting aerial application for all uses and use sites except cotton desiccation;
• Prohibiting pressurized handgun and backpack sprayer application methods on the label;
• Limiting the maximum application rate for alfalfa to one pound of active ingredient per acre;
• Requiring enclosed cabs if area treated in 24-hour period is more than 80 acres;
• Requiring enclosed cabs or PF10 respirators if area treated in 24-hour period is 80 acres or less;
• Requiring a residential area drift buffer and 7-day restricted entry interval (REI) for cotton desiccation;
• Requiring a 48-hour REI for all crops and uses except cotton desiccation;
• Adding mandatory spray drift management label language; and
• In addition, EPA is proposing to allow truck drivers who are not certified applicators to transport previously opened paraquat containers when certain conditions are met.
Comments are welcome on all components of the PID. However, EPA has called out these topics in particular:
• EPA encourages commenters to provide comments, data submissions, or references to additional information related to the proposal to retain aerial application of paraquat for cotton desiccation and to cancel it for all other uses (including cotton herbicidal use).
• EPA welcomes comments from growers and applicators about their application practices considering wind speeds.
• EPA has specifically requested additional information on when aerial application is used (purpose/crops) and how quickly workers need to re-enter the field after application as a desiccant on cotton.
The complete paraquat PID document from EPA is available here. If you have additional questions, please contact Bart Clewis (336-632-2522) or Patsy Laird (336-632-5927).