Council of Producers & Distributors of Agrotechnology

Terry Kippley, CPDA

April 24, 2024

In this Issue:

  • Herbicide Strategies
  • Farm Bill Update
  • California Pesticide Fee Increase
  • CropLife America/RISE Regulatory Conference
  • CPDA Adjuvants, Inerts & Crop Protection Conference

Herbicide Strategy Update

Last week, EPA released an update to its draft Herbicide Strategy. This is part of EPA’s plan to improve how it meets its Endangered Species Act (ESA) obligations. The Agency expects to publish the final strategy in August 2024.

The draft strategy, which EPA released last July, describes whether, how much, and where mitigations may be needed to protect listed species from agricultural uses of conventional herbicides. EPA plans to use the strategy to proactively determine mitigations for registration and registration review actions for herbicides even before EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) formally complete the lengthy ESA determination on whether a herbicide has effects on a listed species. By adopting these early mitigations, EPA can begin protecting listed species while FWS and NMFS are making their ESA determinations, which may take years.

EPA received numerous and detailed comments on the draft strategy. Grower groups focused on the Strategy’s complexity, the lack of practical and easy-to-implement mitigation options and the accuracy of species maps.

To address this, EPA is making changes that fall into the following three categories:

  • Making the strategy easier to understand. The supporting documents describing the Herbicide Strategy totaled almost eight hundred pages. Many growers noted the complexity of the strategy to determine the amount of mitigation a label requires for a particular pesticide—up to nine points of mitigation. In response, EPA is simplifying its approach by using four tiers—none, low, medium, high—to describe the amount of mitigation that may be needed for each herbicide. EPA also plans to create educational materials that explain the four-tier mitigation approach.
  • Increasing flexibility for growers to implement the mitigation measures in the strategy. EPA expects to expand its mitigation measures, especially for specialty crops, to include new measures such as erosion barriers, reservoir tillage, and soil carbon amendments.
  • Reducing the amount of mitigation that may be needed when growers have already adopted voluntary practices to reduce pesticide runoff or where runoff potential is lower due to geography. For example, in areas of the country with flat lands or minimal precipitation where runoff potential is low, growers may need less or no additional measures to use herbicides, compared to what is currently in the draft strategy. EPA is also considering whether growers could meet mitigation requirements if they participate in USDA conservation programs.

To identify other measures to add to the mitigation menu, EPA and USDA will host a workshop with agricultural stakeholders in early May to identify other measures to add to the menu. CPDA plans to attend that workshop to push for the inclusion of drift reduction adjuvants as a featured mitigation option.

While these changes are welcome news, there’s still a lot of work yet to be done. The Herbicide Strategy is just one component of EPA’s overall ESA workplan. The Insecticide Strategy and Fungicide Strategy haven’t been released and their arrival means added compliance burdens and complexity for growers. Plus, growers in some areas will have to factor in the restrictions in the already-released Vulnerable Species Pilot Program.

Once all the EPA strategies are in place, farmers will face the daunting challenge of conducting a field-by-field, acre-by-acre analysis to determine ESA restrictions by product and location. At this point, there isn’t enough information for growers to make the kind of informed decisions they will need to comply with these new ESA mandates.

Farm Bill

On April 16, House Agriculture Committee chairman Glenn G.T. Thompson (R-PA) said that his committee, “without a doubt, will mark up a farm bill before Memorial Day.” Thompson said the House package would include “a robust farm safety net” that will be funded from a USDA reserve.

On the Senate side, Republicans on the Agriculture Committee plan to release a draft farm bill shortly after the House panel finished their work. However, Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat hasn’t released a timeline for when the Senate might finish its work.

A new farm bill is already six months overdue. Last year, Congress reauthorized the 2018 farm bill until a new bill could be passed.

California Pesticide Fee Increase

On April 17, 2024, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation released a proposal to increase registration fees “to a level that supports the current and future business functions of the pesticide registration program. “


Currently, DPR charges a fee of $1,150 for each application to register a new pesticide product, $25 for each label amendment and notification, and $1,525 for each product’s annual renewal. The proposed fee increase per category is listed below.

Under California law, registration fees must cover the cost of the entire registration program. The program includes the Pesticide Registration Branch, registration evaluation scientists in other DPR branches including the Pesticide Evaluation, Environmental Monitoring, Human Health Assessment, Worker Health and Safety, and Enforcement.


The comment period on the proposal ends on May 17.

CropLife America/RISE Regulatory Conference

Last week, I attended the CropLife America/RISE Regulatory Conference in Arlington, Virginia along with Jay Vroom, Scott Rawlins, and a host of CPDA-member company regulatory staff. This conference is always valuable as the professional staff at EPA’s Office of Pesticide Program attends.


The conference also marked the first meeting for CLA’s new President and CEO, Alex Dunn. Alex kicked off the conference with an in-depth discussion with Jake Li, EPA’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Pesticide Programs, where they discussed OPP funding and EPA’s ESA workplan.


For those attending next week’s Adjuvant, Inerts and Crop Protection Conference in Tucson, I’m pleased to report that Alex will be joining us on Tuesday morning to provide an overview of current CLA activities.

Left to right: Kerly Pastor, Tasha Lott, Albaugh; Terry Kippley, CPDA; Anne Turnbough, Amvac; Emily Saad, Exponent; Jane Walz, Helena; Lynn Georges, Wilbur Ellis; Dwayne Young, Helena.

April 29–May 1: Adjuvants, Inerts & Crop Protection Conference

Only 5 days away! There’s still time to register to attend our 2024 Adjuvants, Inerts and Crop Protection Conference in sunny Tucson.

We have designed this year’s conference with five goals in mind.

  1. First, with disruptors everywhere, we wanted to provide you with a range of topics and perspectives on what this means for our industry and your company. This includes the restructuring going on within Chinese pesticide suppliers, 2,4-D anti-dumping, along with disruptive geo-political events in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. By the way, it’s a Presidential election year and this time next year our world could look very different.
  2. Second, with artificial intelligence trending, senior executives from leading national distributors will share their vision on how to successfully leverage the power of AI.
  3. Third, CPDA efforts over the past year put us on the cusp of several significant achievements. This includes our work to address Endangered Species Act restrictions by using drift reduction adjuvants. You will also hear about our ongoing collaboration with EPA staff to reduce the backlog of regulatory submissions.
  4. Fourth, our legislative panel of political experts will provide a focus on our priorities in the upcoming Farm Bill. We will also hear about what is going on at the state level, with a special focus on California.
  5. Fifth, to keep you up to date with emerging technologies, we have expanded the breadth of topics in our Adjuvant University to address the future of application and formulation technology with an emphasis on biologicals.

This is the can’t miss event of the year. Make plans today to attend and we will see you in Tucson.

Who Should Attend:

  • Senior managers
  • Regulatory and technical staff
  • Governmental Relations staff
  • Companies who are not yet CPDA members. This is your chance to "kick the tires" before joining.  

Until next time...

Connect with us!

LinkedIn  Email  Web