California Will Prohibit Chlorpyrifos

California’s Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) will end virtually all use of chlorpyrifos following an agreement between pesticide manufacturers and the Department of Pesticide Regulation. Retailers will not be able to sell chlorpyrifos after Feb. 6, 2020.

Chlorpyrifos is used on a wide variety of crops, including row crops, fruits, trees and vines. It was a restricted use material until this week’s announcement.

Until the ban goes into effect, any use must comply with restrictions including: no aerial spraying, quarter mile buffers and limiting use to crop pests for which there are no alternatives for control. Growers will not be able to use or possess the product after Dec. 31, 2020.

There is, however, one exception, granular chlorpyrifos will remain on the market. California EPA says these products are not associated with health effects and make up less than 1% of products on the market.

California Department of Food and Agriculture, together with the Department of Pesticide Regulation, have a working group to find alternate pest management options for growers. The agencies will have their first meeting this month and will host three public workshops starting in January. More than $5 million in grant funding is dedicated to finding alternatives.

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