NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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November 22 Agriculture Column


I know winter had to come sooner or later but as I get older I get less and less interested in snow and the cold season. My clothing would tell you that as I still have just windbreakers out, time to pull out the insulated stuff. This is also the time of year to be looking for next growing season crops and varieties.  As we move forward with that process please also be thinking about your herbicide application rotation.  We have been blest to have a product that is the cure all weed control. Glyphosate has been the real ticket, however with the extensive use of Roundup we do need to make sure we use a different mode of action so we do not start a resistant weed  or weeds.  As we prepare for next years’ cropping strategy think of ways to still use Roundup in the mix but develop a sound pesticide rotation for your farm as well.  A sound cropping and pesticide rotation and nonresistant weeds is what we strive for.

This information below was taken from the Western Farm Press and illustrates the unknowns our ag producers are facing in the pesticide industry.

·         EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit plans too ‘optimistic’

·         Burden on small business

·         The EPA’s plans for finalizing and implementing its NPDES general permit for applications of pesticides over water could result in a number of adverse consequences.

·         The permit will impact small businesses.

·         Nothing in the CWA (Clean Water Act) or the proposed permit protects farmers from citizen suits for not obtaining a permit.


The Environmental Protection Agency’s plans for finalizing and implementing its NPDES general permit for applications of pesticides over water are “overly optimistic” and could result in a number of adverse consequences, one of the agency’s critics says.

According to reports, EPA now hopes to complete its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit for applications of pesticides over water by December. EPA and most of the states would then begin implementing and enforcing the permit program starting next April.

Testifying at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, the president of CropLife America said not only do many believe EPA and the states won’t meet that schedule, but they worry that the permitting system will impose hardships on small businesses and negate many of the public health achievements of recent years.

“We are very skeptical about this overly optimistic timetable,” said Jay Vroom, the CropLife America president. “Even if things go smoothly, for the federal government and individual states to get all this work done well before April – and then for the regulated community to have time to get up to speed on compliance – seems nearly impossible to achieve.”

Vroom, whose members produce and sell most of the crop protection and biotechnology products used in the U.S., said EPA might not be up against the April 2011 court-imposed deadline if it had been willing to fight harder to defend its previous position that the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act was the governing document for pesticide use.

“Never in the 62 years of FIFRA nor 38 years of the Clean Water Act has the federal government required a permit to apply pesticides “to, over or near” waters of the U.S. for control of such pests as mosquitoes, forest canopy insects, algae, or invasive aquatic weeds and animals, like Zebra mussel,” he said.

“As a matter of fact, Congress specifically omitted pesticides in 1972 when it enacted the CWA, and despite major rewrites since, never looked beyond FIFRA for the regulation of the regular, label-approved uses of pesticides.”

That is, until last year when the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned EPA’s 2006 rule which specifically exempted from the Clean Water Act, NPDES permitting of aquatic pesticide applications.

“Agriculture and the rest of the pesticide user community are still baffled by the federal government’s choice not to more rigorously defend the 2006 rule,” said Vroom in testimony delivered on Sept. 23. “CropLife America believes the 6th Circuit got it wrong, and EPA should have done more to defend its previous rule.”


            Nov. 25, 26                   Closed for Thanksgiving

            Dec.10                          District Crop Improvement meeting, Lakota

            Dec. 24                         Closed for Christmas

            Jan. 4-5                         Lake Region Extension Roundup

            Mar. 8                           Pesticide training, Hampden

            April 5                           Pesticide training, Devils Lake


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