EPA to release final herbicide action plan late August

The Environmental Protection Agency will delay their release of a final herbicide action strategy until the end of August and the CEO of the Ag Retailers Association says the agency is trying to get it right.

Daren Coppock tells Brownfield EPA is trying to be flexible while complying with the Endangered Species Act, making the overall strategy more practical for farmers, applicators and others in agriculture.

“One of the things that’s been bugging people with the whole system is you have to earn points by doing practices in order to be able use a product at the full rate with minimal buffer zones. And yet, there are some places in the country where you can’t earn enough points to do that.”

Coppock says the EPA has a memorandum of understanding with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to improve the situation.

“It allows a grower’s use of conservation practices with the NRCS to count toward meeting the endangered species compliance target.”

Other agriculture groups, including the American Soybean Association, are responding positively to EPA’s deadline extension, which was approved by the courts that required EPA to improve its compliance with the ESA. The ASA says U.S. soybean farmers have been concerned with the impact the herbicide strategy would have if not significantly revised.

The EPA is expected to finalize their herbicide action plan by August 30. Read the draft action plan.

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