JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (DTN) -- What's your go-to meal during harvest season? Does someone lovingly pack you a lunch each morning before you head to the field? Or do you quickly grab a soda and a slice at the gas station between runs to the elevator?
Regardless of your usual routine, this Thursday I suggest packing a classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich -- better known as a BLT. Then, let that sandwich serve as your reminder to join a webinar at 1 p.m. CST about Bulletins Live! Two, a website also known as BLT that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will likely require pesticide applicators to visit more frequently in the future.
When applying pesticides -- whether you're doing your own spraying or hiring the work done -- it's commonly known that "the label is the law." Those physical labels list general product restrictions and requirements for use, including nationwide mitigations for protecting endangered species.
However, there can be other geographically specific requirements for protecting endangered species that are not listed directly on the label. In this case, the physical label instructs the pesticide applicator to consult the BLT website to determine if any mitigations are specified for the area where the pesticide will be applied. If applicators fail to take this step and comply with the additional requirements, they are not following the label or, consequently, the law.
The BLT website has been around since late 2014, but it has gained more notoriety in the past two years as EPA seeks to fulfill its legal obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). For instance, those who have used Enlist One or Enlist Duo on soybeans should be familiar with consulting the bulletins before applying. As the agency works to ensure that pesticides don't jeopardize the continued existence of nearly 1,700 federally threatened or endangered species -- and avoid future legal battles -- more, if not all, pesticide users will be required to use the BLT website.
Most recently, BLT was referenced as part of the EPA's solution for ensuring ESA compliance within the agency's Draft Herbicide Strategy Framework, a document that that received nearly 19,000 public comments and the ire of the agriculture industry. Read more here: https://www.dtnpf.com/… and https://www.dtnpf.com/…
While the final herbicide strategy won't be released for months, it's unlikely the agency will abandon use of the BLT website for distributing information about geographically specific pesticide restrictions and additional mitigations as they relate to endangered species.
According to an EPA press release, those who attend the webinar will hear from EPA staff who will:
-- Describe how bulletins relate to pesticide labeling;
-- Explain how to use the BLT website to determine if there are geographically specific mitigations for intended pesticide application areas;
-- Demonstrate the website using the insecticide malathion as an example; and
-- Address frequently asked questions.
While stopping to watch an EPA webinar during a busy harvest season is a big ask, EPA often sends out follow-up emails with links to webinar recordings afterward. So, sign up and listen in on Thursday or sign up and review the webinar after harvest.
Now, time to fix myself a sandwich. All this BLT talk has made me hungry!
To register for the BLT website webinar, go to: https://register.gotowebinar.com/…
To access Bulletins Live! Two, go to: https://www.epa.gov/…
Jason Jenkins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @JasonJenkinsDTN
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