While they work to keep pollinators healthy, the folks who sell products to ag producers are concerned about a new government proposal that would restrict crop protection measures. The Agricultural Retailers Association says the EPA’s “Proposal to Mitigate Exposure to Bees from Acutely Toxic Pesticide Products” is not based in science and would absolutely prohibit the use of most of the effective insecticides on crops in bloom when contracted bees are on-site.
EPA is specifically requesting comments on three areas; the Proposal affects ALL growers as it:
Would prohibit applications of most insecticides and a few herbicides (76 active ingredients) which are acutely toxic to bees, during bloom when bee hives are present for contracted pollination services.
Encourages efforts to reduce pesticide exposures through development of state/locally-based measures, referred to as ‘Managed Pollinator Protection Plans’ (MP3s).
Identifies other areas of alleged “uncertainties” and solicits comments regarding very important crop protection tools ― insect growth regulators, fungicides, tank mixes, seed treatments and soil uses.
ARA has outlined its concerns and wants producers to provide comments in certain areas to be filed with EPA before the deadline of August 28, 2015.
Questions that would be helpful to address in any comments include:
– If you use any of these products, have you experienced any issue with bees or beekeepers?
– How do you use any of these products, and how important are they for your production system?
– Has the availability of these products increased your production compared to previous pest control products?
– If these products are restricted or otherwise made unavailable, are there alternative pest control strategies you would use?
– If you were forced to use alternatives, what will be the economic impact on your farming operation?