Update for Board of Pesticides Control

Update for Board of Pesticides Control

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Board of Pesticides Control

Board of Pesticides Control Update

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 Meetings

The next Board meeting is February 23, 2024 it will be hybrid in Rm 118 Marquardt Building, 32 Blossom Lane, Augusta and on Microsoft Teams.

For more information, visit the Board Meetings Page.

Upcoming Credit Meetings

The following programs have been approved for pesticide recertification credits. More recertification opportunities may be found on the BPC Credit Calendar.

February 29, 2024 – MELNA Educational Workshop

  • Location: Keeley’s Banquet Center, 178 Warren Avenue, Portland, ME
  • Approved for 2 pesticide credit (private, commercial)
  • For more information: https://www.melna.org/

March 5, 2024 – Rescheduled Applicator Recertification Credits from the Ag Trade Show

  • Location: Rm 101 Deering Bldg. 90 Blossom ln, Augusta, ME 04333
  • Approved for 3 pesticide credit (commercial, private)
  • For more information: pesticides@maine.gov

March 19, 2024 – Preseason Tree Fruit Meeting

  • Location: University of Southern Maine, 51 Westminster Street, Lewiston, ME (8 AM to 3:30 PM)
  • Approved for 3 pesticide credit (private, commercial)
  • For more information: https://www.maineapples.org/

BPC Reminder – Adjuvant Reporting

The Board of Pesticides Control wants you to know that adjuvants are now considered pesticides under state law (PL 2021 c. 673). These substances MUST be registered in order to use and they MUST be included on records for 2024. You can visit our website for a list of registered pesticide products for 2024.

*NEW* Positive Identification of Proper Treament Site Submission Portal

In 2023, the board completed rulemaking that moved the policy “Positive Identification of Proper Treatment Site by Commercial Applicators (amended December 5, 2014)” into its Chapter 20 rules. This means that these guidelines for ensuring that sites are properly identified prior to pesticide applications are now enforceable. Companies that use identification methods not listed in these rule must submit their methods for identifying treatment sites to the Board no later than March 1, 2024. For more information and access to the new submission portal.

DACF Update – $660,000 Available To Maine Growers To Pursue Innovation

Augusta – The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s (DACF) Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources is seeking proposals for the 2024 USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP).

SCBGP is federally funded through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Marketing Services. The competitive grant program funds projects designed to enhance, expand, and inform Maines specialty crop industry. Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, local, state, and federal government entities, for-profit organizations, and colleges and universities.

Eligible specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, maple, tree nuts, herbs, mushrooms, and nursery, floriculture, and horticulture crops. Visit the USDA SCBGP website for a detailed definition of specialty crops, a list of commonly eligible specialty crops, and a list of ineligible commodities.

Funded applications may be for projects designed to develop and implement research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, food safety and security, education, increased knowledge and consumption, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, conservation, product development, food agricultural practices, good handling practices and/or good manufacturing practices. Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that solely benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual. Single organizations, institutions, and individuals are encouraged to participate as project partners.

DACF administers the SCBGP each year and will evaluate all applications for eligibility based on the criteria listed in the RFA package. Qualified project applications will be reviewed and scored by a review panel. All DACF-approved projects will be incorporated into one state grant request and submitted to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service for funding approval.

“In 2023, Maine made nine project awards totaling $597,958. We anticipate awarding approximately $600,000 this year,” said DACF Agricultural Resource Development Division Director Michelle Webb. “These grant awards provide important opportunities for specialty crop research, innovation, marketing and promotion, food safety, education, product development, and improved practices and efficiencies.”

Projects must enhance the competitiveness of a Maine specialty crop, and they must benefit a specialty crop segment as a whole rather than to an individual or an organization. Past and current awards have supported research into Maine’s most crucial specialty crops, developed pest management and soil health strategies, enhanced market promotion, and implemented and food safety practices.

Applications directly aligning with one or more DACF priority areas will be considered more favorably in the evaluation process. The 2024 priority areas are:

  • Projects that enhance food safety education, primarily in relation to FDA rules regarding improved handling and processing of specialty crops;
  • Projects to enhance soil and ecosystem health;
  • Projects that market Maine specialty crops to diversified and expanded markets or that research potential market expansion efforts and strategies. Examples include, but are not limited to, increasing sales to institutions and other target markets that are new or have potential for growth in sales of Maine agricultural products;
  • Projects that improve adaptation and increase resilience to climate-related crop disturbances in support of long-term farm business vitality and productivity, such as through projects that address specialty crops ability to mitigate and/or adapt to climate change, conserve agricultural land and water, detect and manage emerging pests and diseases, or implementation of practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases, and/or improve soil health;
  • And projects that alleviate supply chain disruptions for specialty crop inputs, processing, or distribution.

“DACF is so excited to offer these resources to Maine’s agricultural sector,” said Craig Lapine, Director of the Maine Bureau of Agriculture, Food & Rural Resources. “In the past, these grants have spurred exciting innovations in production, marketing, stewardship, and more. We have high hopes that this year’s applicants will continue that tradition.”

Since 2002, the SCBGP has awarded more than $7 million to Maine DACF to support the growing number of specialty crop producers selling into local and regional markets. DACF encourages applications that serve smaller farms, new and beginning farmers, underserved producers, veteran producers, and underserved communities. Agricultural associations, industry and producer groups, municipalities, community-based organizations, educational institutions, and non-profits are eligible for this grant opportunity.

Eligible groups must submit proposals for grants of up to $100,000 per project by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 18, 2024. Those interested in applying should view RFA# 202402032 2024 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program on the Maine Division of Procurement Services RFP and RFA website for full application instructions and deadline information.

Funding for the Maine 2024 SCBGP was made possible by a grant/cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service. The RFA contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.

EPA Update – EPA Awards $10 Million to Oregon State University to Support Pesticide Safety Education

As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) marks National Pesticide Safety Education Month, the Agency has awarded a $10 million cooperative agreement to Oregon State University to support the operations of the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), a resource that provides the public with objective, science-based information on pesticide-related subjects. Funding under this agreement supports the safe use of pesticides through information provided via the web, phone, and direct outreach.

In June 2023, EPA released a call for applications from eligible organizations to carry out this critical work for public health and safety. Oregon State University is the current partner managing NPIC, and with this selection they will continue to provide this service.

Under this agreement, Oregon State University will:

  • Provide a toll-free hotline to provide pesticide safety information and collect incident information;
  • Develop outreach and educational pesticide safety materials;
  • Develop technical resources specifically designed for risk assessors, as well as medical and veterinary professionals;
  • Develop a web-based system to help automate the voluntary reporting of pesticide incident information;
  • Partner and collaborate with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and other audiences to improve awareness of pesticide safety and encourage the correct use of pesticides; and
  • Make services and information available in multiple languages and provide culturally appropriate pesticide safety resources that take into consideration the unique health and social vulnerabilities of diverse communities.

The total funding estimated for this opportunity is anticipated to be up to $10 million over five years covering 2024-2029. This agreement is supported in part by $500,000 per year of funds set aside in the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act of 2022. EPA and Oregon State University staff have worked together to ensure that work under the new agreement will begin by March 1, 2024, so that there is no gap in service from the previous NPIC agreement.

Read more about the funding solicitation and the selected project on EPA’s websiteand visit NPIC’s website for more information on pesticide safety.