KARA Signs Letter Urging EPA to Withdraw its Draft Herbicide Strategy

United States Environmental Protection Agency

KARA Signs Letter Urging EPA to Withdraw its Draft Herbicide Strategy

Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA), in cooperation with the Agricultural Retailers Association and American Soybean Association, has signed a petition urging the United States Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw its draft herbicide strategy no later than 11:59 p.m., on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023.

Due to the technicalities of the petition, KARA CEO Ron Seeber signed on behalf of the association.

The organizations are encouraging others to SIGN THE PETITION.

The EPA previously issued a Draft Herbicide Strategy proposal July 24, 2023. This is part of the EPA’s overall effort to address longstanding litigation related to the protection of endangered species against pesticide products.

KARA, along with its national affiliate associations, have concerns with the agency’s draft herbicide strategy framework. As proposed, it would impose significant new regulatory burdens and uncertainties on nearly every agricultural herbicide user throughout the nation.

Comments to the EPA are due on Oct. 22. Concerningly, these restrictions could be very costly or entirely unworkable for many producers. Examples include:

  • Requiring herbicide users to attain “points” by adopting certain runoff reduction practices(reduced tillage, cover crops, vegetative filter strips, contour farming, etc.) to use most herbicides (most herbicides could require 6, 9, or more points to use);
  • Downwind spray drift buffers as great as 500 feet for aerial application or 200 feet for ground application (these distances could be reduced by using coarser spray droplets or other mitigations);
  • Runoff mitigation exemptions can apply for applications more than 1,000 feet from terrestrial or aquatic “habitat” (“habitat” definitions are very broad and few areas are likely to qualify for this exemption) or if you are under a field/site specific runoff conservation plan;

If you have subsurface drainage, you cannot comply with runoff reduction practice requirements. All subsurface drainage must be channeled into retention ponds or saturation buffer zones.