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Flax herbicide rate changes effective through 2015

Agriculture.com Staff Updated: 07/12/2010 @ 4:11pm

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has issued a FIFRA Section 24(c) special local needs (SLN) registration to Dow AgroSciences, enabling North Dakota flax growers to increase the amount of  the herbicide Curtail®M they use to control Canada thistle and other broadleaf weeds.

"This SLN registration allows for Curtail M use rates on flax higher than those allowed under the EPA-approved labeling for this product," Goehring says in a report from the U.S. flax trade group, AmeriFlax. "Users can now apply Curtail M at a maximum rate of 1.75 pints of product per acre, allowing for more effective control of Canada thistle."

Goehring explained that Curtail M contains two active ingredients -- clopyralid and 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (MCPA). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently reduced the allowable application rate of MCPA on flax, thereby reducing the maximum application rate of Curtail M to 0.85 pints per acre.

"That is about half the amount needed to control the weeds," Goehring said. "Since no other federally registered pesticides are available to effectively manage Canada thistle in flax, I issued the registration to restore the original application rate. I believe the situation meets the criteria of a special local need."

Goehring says users of Curtail M under this SLN registration are required to comply with all restrictions, precautions, and directions found in both the SLN supplemental labeling and the EPA-approved container label. Users must also have a copy of the SLN supplemental labeling in their possession during use.

 Section 24(c) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) allows states to register an additional use of a federally registered pesticide product, or a new end use product to meet a special local need. A special local need is an existing or imminent pest problem within a state for which the state has determined that an appropriate federally registered pesticide product is not sufficiently available. In most cases, SLN registrations are used by states to adjust use patterns of existing registrations, such as changes to use rate, application methods, or timing. SLN registrations can also be used to expand a product's use on new crops or sites. SLN registrations are issued by states and are state-specific. EPA reviews SLN registrations and can deny them within 90 days of issuance.

North Dakota is the nation's leading producer of flax, growing about 95% of crop.

The SLN registration is effective immediately and expires December 31, 2015.

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