Board of Pesticides Control Update

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Board of Pesticides Control

The Board of Pesticides Control wants to keep you informed on issues that may affect you. We welcome your input and feedback. Please send your comments to pesticides@maine.gov.

In This Update

Upcoming Board Meeting 

June 9, 2023 at 9:00 AM in Room 118 of the Marquardt Building located at 32 Blossom Lane in Augusta. This will be a hybrid meeting. For more information, visit the Board Meetings Page.

Recent Enforcement Action

Please ensure all applicable rules and regulations are followed when distributing or using pesticide products. Feel free to reach out to BPC staff with any questions at pesticides@maine.gov

  • A company failed to notify a member of the 2023 Pesticide Notification Registry prior to pesticide application at an abutting property.
  • An unauthorized pesticide application was made at the wrong address. The applicator failed to use the positive property identification method instituted by their company.
  • BPC inspectors are finding near 100% compliance during marketplace inspections surrounding recent changes of sales and use of neonicotinoids.

Legislative Action

  • LD 1770 – “An Act to Improve Pesticides Sales and Use Data Collection and Accessibility by the State”

The ACF committee held a work session for this bill on May 10, 2023. The committee voted to amend the bill, striking most of the sections, but keeping the requirement for annual sales and use information to be submitted electronically to the BPC. The amendment is still in draft form but was voted out as Ought To Pass As Amended (OTP-AM) by the ACF committee on May 10, 2023.

NEW! Outdoor Ornamental Manual and Exam

Category 3A (outdoor ornamental) was created for commercial applicators using or supervising the use of pesticides to control pests in the maintenance and production of outdoor ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers, including treatments for browntail moth. Required knowledge also includes the current methodology and technology for the control of pesticide drift to non-target areas, the proper meteorological conditions for the application of pesticides, and the potential adverse effect of pesticides on plants, animals or humans.

The BPC has transitioned to a new exam and manual for the Outdoor Ornamental category. If you or your employees plan to take this exam please ensure the new UMaine Cooperative Extension manual is being used as study material.

EPA Recent Update

EPA has followed up with new mitigation measures for three new organophosphates (OPs). Phosmet, tribufos, and ethoprop each have new voluntary restrictions associated with their use. More information can be found on this EPA webpage.

Interesting! Precision Agriculture

Precision Agriculture, also known as precision farming, is the use of advanced technologies to optimize crop production and improve efficiency. Here are some examples of precision agriculture practices:

  • Variable Rate Technology (VRT): VRT is used to apply precise amounts of fertilizer, water, and pesticides to crops based on their specific needs. This technology helps farmers to minimize input costs while maximizing yields.
  • Global Positioning System (GPS): GPS is used to create maps of farm fields, which are then used to guide tractors and other farm equipment. This technology helps farmers to avoid overlapping operations, reduce waste, and improve efficiency.
  • Drones: Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras and sensors are used to monitor crop health and detect areas that require attention. This technology enables farmers to identify crop stress, disease, and nutrient deficiencies early, which helps to prevent yield loss.
  • Soil Sensors: Soil sensors are used to monitor soil moisture, temperature, and nutrient levels. This information is used to create customized irrigation and fertilization plans, which help to optimize crop growth and reduce water and fertilizer use.

As technology continues to advance, it is likely that farmers in Maine will adopt more precision agriculture practices to improve their crop yields further and reduce waste. Licensure and FFA certification are required for the use of drones to apply pesticides. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our office with questions on how to get licensed. Our question to you is, how has technology helped you reduce your inputs? We’d like to hear from applicators with examples of what new technologies you have adopted. Drop us a quick note.

Refresher! EPA Registered vs. Minimum Risk Pesticides

BPC staff have received questions about the difference between EPA registered pesticides and pesticides exempt from EPA registration requirements under section 25(b) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The latter products are often referred to as minimum risk or 25(b) products. Both EPA registered and 25(b) products must be registered in the State of Maine to legally distribute or use. Check for registered products.

  • EPA registered products:
    • have an EPA registration number on the label, and
    • are evaluated for toxicity and efficacy
  • 25(b) or minimum risk products:
    • do not have an EPA registration number,
    • products active and inert/other ingredients must appear on EPA’s lists of accepted active and other/inert ingredients,
    • are not tested for toxicity or efficacy, and
    • cannot make claims to protect against diseases from rodent insect or microbial pests, such as Lyme disease, West Nile virus, or Covid-19

Product Registration Update

Always check to ensure all products distributed or used are currently registered in the State of Maine. For a list of the current Maine registrations.