Pre-Notification, Atrazine Hearing
Please go to www.ifca.com to see the updated legislative report on bills were are managing on behalf of our members. We have at this point in time resolved the potential for pesticide application pre-notification legislation by working with Senator Dave Koehler (D-Edwards) on a resolution. The resolution (SJR 105) encourages the IL Dept of Ag to implement a web-based program that allows organic growers, vineyards, bee hives and certain sensitive crops to register their sites and GIS coordinates with the goal to enhance communicate with pesticide applicators to potentially mitigate spray drift concerns with sensitive crops. The U of I Extension will incorporate the web program into the pesticide licensing training program to encourage awareness and use the site. The website will also be implemented in Indiana and other Midwest states. To see a preview of the site, go to www.driftwatch.org The resolution asks the IDA to have the site up and running before January 1, 2011. To view the resolution click here http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/96/SJR/PDF/09600SJ0105lv.pdf If you have questions about this issue please contact Jean Payne.
The atrazine hearing on Tuesday, Feb 23rd was, well, interesting. It was not packed with people, most of the audience was the ag industry. The professor from Berkeley showed his frog slides and made his arguments against the registration of atrazine despite USEPA's continued scientific review and registration of this product. Representatives Jil Tracy, Dave Winters and Chapin Rose helped represent agriculture's interests and asked very good questions of the professor, and the industry was also able to provide testimony from Len Corzine, an Illinois corn grower, and Tim Pastoor, a toxicologist with Syngenta. As is the case with many ag issues, some people seem to struggle to understand our food production system, our science-based and conservation-minded approach to pesticide and nutrient use and the efficiency and productivity of our modern agricultural industry. We must all keep telling our positive story because we lots of challenges facing us.