(Posted Thu. Sep 11th, 2014)
The National Corn Growers Association is pleased that the Environmental Protection Agency indicated it will provide flexibility for farmers in Herbicide Resistance Management (HRM) plans for new herbicide products, a position which NCGA has strongly urged.
“By moving toward a more flexible, yet still effective stance, the EPA made progress toward a set of real world solutions to an important issue,” said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmerman, who farms in Wisconsin. “The circumstances farmers across the country encounter in terms of herbicide resistance vary widely, thus the tools which farmers must use to respond to them must be tailored to effectively address the specifics of that farm. Farmers want to act as good stewards of both their environment and technology. By allowing for flexibility, the EPA can help them do so.”
During the Weed Science Society of America’s Herbicide Resistance summit hosted by the National Academies of Science yesterday, EPA Office of Pesticides Director Jack Housenger stated that the agency would not impose mandatory conditions on new products.
“Whenever we come up with regulatory plans, growers need the flexibility,” said Housenger. “If you can achieve the goal, give the growers the flexibility to use the product.”
NCGA maintains that that a single HRM plan that is mandated by labeling or condition of registration will not foster an environment to deal effectively with a weed resistance problems. Every farm and weed situation is unique. Growers need new tools to fight weeds in their fields immediately and will need flexibility that enables them to implement a tailored plan for their farm.
NCGA remains committed to working with the EPA on the management and reduction of field evolved weed resistance to herbicides. Additionally, the association will work with both the EPA and registrants to provide growers with the information and tools necessary to manage resistant populations within a practical framework.
As part of this effort, NCGA has joined the cross-commodity “Take Action” coalition formed to educate growers on best management practices. This program, started by the United Soybean Board, is the first step to providing quality information, education and reference to growers to implement proper weed management. To find out more, click here.