The EPA's proposed herbicide strategy, which would likely affect product labels beginning in 2025, could require applicators to use large sprayer droplet sizes and observe a maximum wind speed cutoff limit to reduce herbicide drift risks. Photo by: Eleon Images

Evolving EPA Strategies to Protect Endangered Species Will Affect Your Herbicide Use by 2025

Continued use of certain herbicides will depend upon conservation methods in place on areas affected by Endangered Species Act

“If you have an endangered species in your state, county or on your farm, the herbicide labels you used in the past will likely be changing,” says a spokesman for the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA)

The WSSA is a nonprofit scientific society founded in 1956 to foster the development of knowledge concerning weeds and their impact on the environment. Bill Chism is WSSA chairman of the group’s committee working with the U.S. EPA on implementing a herbicide strategy focused on conventional herbicides used in farming in the lower 48 states. He says the EPA is under a court-assessed timeline to bring its policies in line with mandates of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to comply with original intent of the ESA.

The intent states all federal agencies, including EPA, take no actions that jeopardize endangered and threatened species or adversely modify their designated critical habitat, according to Chism.

“The herbicide labels you used in the past will likely be changing…”

“If a pesticide has a negative impact on a threatened or endangered species, then EPA must require actions on the product’s label to reduce drift, runoff or erosion under the ESA, or simply remove the use of that product in the area or county,” he says. 

Proposed Strategy

The EPA’s proposed herbicide strategy considers the potential impacts of agricultural herbicides to 400 listed plants and 500 listed animals that depend on plants. This strategy concerns WSSA because growers may lose herbicides and other crop protection products due to…

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Dan crummett 0618

Dan Crummett

Dan Crummett has more than 35 years in regional and national agricultural journalism including editing state farm magazines, web-based machinery reporting and has an interest in no-till and conservation tillage. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Oklahoma State Univ.

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