By Clint Thompson
The final rule regarding the ban of chlorpyrifos by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) goes into effect on Friday, Oct. 29. However, Stormy Sparks, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension vegetable entomologist, reminds vegetable and specialty crop producers that the tolerances do not expire until Feb. 28.
“(Feb. 28) is the date you lose the tolerance, but if you made a legal application prior to that date, the old tolerance still applies,” Sparks said. “If you make an application after that date, it’s illegal.”
The revocations of the tolerances for all commodities goes into effect six months after the EPA’s ban. While the ban applies to all vegetable crops, chlorpyrifos or lorsban, is used extensively in vegetable production for soil insects in onion and sweet potato acreage.
Registered uses of lorsban are legal until March 1. It is important to keep records of applications as proof. Any application of chlorpyrifos to a food crop, such as onions or sweet potatoes, after Feb. 28 will render the crop adulterated. It can’t be harvested and sold.
If a farmer harvests in April and they treated their crop with chlorpyrifos in February or earlier, they are okay. If they harvest in April and treat their crop on March 1 or later, it is illegal.