Deputy Secretary for Agriculture at CalEPA and Acting Director of the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), Val Dolcini provided an update on some important materials for California farmers and ranchers.
Chlorpyrifos: The move to ban chlorpyrifos in California began back in May with an announcement from CalEPA and DPR. The process is estimated to take anywhere from six months to two years. The announcement has been met with some criticism from growers who rely on the product as the last effective material available to them.
“We appreciate the fact that it’s a broadly used pesticide and it has applicability obviously for many of the crops and commodities that are grown in California,” Dolcini noted. “Which is why the Governor decided it was important to not only dedicate some monies in his May-revise to additional research, and that was in excess of $5 million, but also to have DPR and CDFA work together to create a working group.”
Sulfoxaflor: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the long-term approval for the insecticide on a national level, however that determination has yet to be approved in California. Sulfoxaflor has periodically been approved for emergency use for several crops including cotton, sorghum, and berries. An independent review process will be conducted in California before a full registration can be approved.
“We’ve not decided yet whether we’re going to follow suit,” said Dolcini. “Our scientists here at DPR are going to be looking to see in the near-term hopefully whether additional protections need to be in place before we allow its use here in California.”
Glyphosate: The popular herbicide continues to make headlines as glyphosate products continue to be involved in ongoing litigation, despite EPA’s announcement that the material is not considered to be a public health risk. Several counties have also been making moves to restrict the usage or ban the material altogether. So far, there are no plans to make any sweeping changes to the registration to one of the most important materials for California growers.
“No changes for growers from our perspective here at DPR,” said Dolcini. “Counties and cities are legally able to these days to prohibit use on lands that they own. So, some entities have banned use in their parks, or on school grounds, or they use glyphosate in an integrated pest management fashion, which really means they use it as a last resort.”