- October 30, 2020
Application-zone update proposed
Updates to improve Application Exclusion Zone requirements recently were proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The updates would improve enforceability for state regulators and reduce regulatory burdens for farmers, according to the EPA. Updates also would maintain public-health protections for farmworkers and other individuals who could be exposed to pesticide applications. The proposed updates are consistent with the 2019 Pesticide Registration Improvement Act, according to the agency.
The agency is holding a 90-day public comment period. It’s seeking input on updates that were publicly suggested to EPA by both state pesticide agencies and agricultural stakeholders. Proposals are listed.
- Application Exclusion Zone requirements are limited to within the boundaries of the agricultural establishment. No changes were made to the “do not contact” provision that prohibits a handler or applicator and the handler’s employer from applying a pesticide in such a way that it contacts workers or other persons directly or through drift.
- Clarifying language that pesticide applications that are suspended due to individuals entering an Application Exclusion Zone may be resumed after those individuals have left that zone.
- Allows agricultural employers and handlers to make or resume applications when individuals are in an area subject to an easement, provided the handler can ensure the application won’t contact those individuals.
- Allows owners and their immediate family to shelter in place inside closed buildings or shelters within the Application Exclusion Zone during applications. It also allows handlers to perform applications near closed buildings or shelters where the owner’s immediate family are sheltering in place, provided the owner has expressly instructed the handlers that only the owner’s immediate family are inside the building or structure and that the application should proceed despite their presence in the zone.
- Simplifies the criteria for deciding whether pesticide applications are subject to the 25- or 100-foot Application Exclusion Zone.
The final requirements will take effect Dec. 29. Visit federalregister.gov and search for “revision of the application exclusion zone” and epa.gov and search for “agricultural worker protection standard” for more information.
Top-producing cooperatives listed
National Cooperative Bank recently released the annual “NCB Co-op 100,” listing the nation’s top 100 revenue-earning cooperative businesses. The bank lists cooperatives in various business sectors such as agriculture. The cooperatives in total posted revenues of $228.2 billion in 2019.
The top two agriculture cooperatives are CHS Inc. and Dairy Farmers of America. CHS reported $31.9 billion in revenues in 2019, maintaining its first-place position on the list. Dairy Farmers of America reported $15.9 billion in revenues, earning the second-place ranking.
Cooperatives continue to advance, playing an increasingly influential role in the national and global economy, according to National Cooperative Bank. Visit ncb.coop and search for “NCB Co-op 100” for more information.
California creates cannabis campaign
“This is California Cannabis” is a new campaign designed to promote California’s legal cannabis-cultivation market. The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis cultivation-licensing division is managing the campaign. “This is California Cannabis” will feature outreach and education efforts such as community events and workshops. It will highlight the technical assistance and support that’s provided to licensed growers as well as new applicants seeking commercial cannabis-cultivation licensure. Visit growwithCA.com for more information.
Hemp fabrics launched
A new line of hemp knit fabrics recently was introduced by Hemp Traders, which is based in Los Angeles. The company will first offer three types of fabric – jersey, French terry and rib knit.
The company is working with farmers and processors to bring decortication, processing and spinning facilities online. The ultimate goal is to perform the entire process in the United States using 100 percent American grown hemp. Visit hemptraders.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
European crop-protection trade adopts Green Deal commitments
The European Crop Protection Association recently adopted a set of commitments to support Europe’s new Green Deal. The industry plans to invest more than 14 billion euro in new technologies and more sustainable products by 2030.
Géraldine Kutas, director general of the European Crop Protection Association, said the industry is committed to aligning with Green Deal policy initiatives. Crop-protection companies have joined to set voluntary, sector-specific and measurable goals in their support, she said. The European Crop Protection Association has adopted six commitments.
Innovation and investment. By 2030 it plans to invest 10 billion euros for innovation in precision and digital technologies and 4 billion euros for innovation in biopesticides. The investment will be useful only if there’s an appropriate regulatory framework allowing innovation to reach European farmers, the association stated.
Circular economy. Increasing the collection rate of empty pesticide plastic containers to 75 percent and establishing a collection scheme in the European Union Member States that currently have none by 2025. That will contribute to the European Union’s goal of a circular economy that aims at minimizing waste and resources used, lessening the environmental impact of plastic packaging.
Protecting people and the environment. By training farmers on the implementation of integrated pest management, water protection and the importance of personal-protective equipment, the industry desires to further minimize exposure and reduce risks of pesticide use. It also will contribute to the overall goals of the Sustainable Use Directive and European Union Farm to Fork strategies aimed at producing food sustainably.
The association will track the industry’s progress and share progress, Kutas said. The European Crop Protection Association represents the European pesticide and biopesticide industry. Its members are major companies and national associations across Europe. Visit ecpa.eu/commitments/2030-commitments for more information.
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