The North Dakota Grain Growers (NDGGA) submitted comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s approach to regulating seeds treated with a pesticide registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rotenticide Act (“FIFRA”). Previously, only the chemicals used to treat the seed were classified as pesticides and treated seed were exempt from being classified as pesticides. Now the Agency has made moves to classify treated seed as a pesticide; a move that the NDGGA believes is not appropriate, and would result in “double regulation”of the product.

“This concept would be a complete shift in culture,” Ed Kessel, President of the NDGGA, said in the official comments. “Our growers heavily rely on crop protection tools and support efforts to make their registration process more efficient and timelier, meet new challenges, and protect species and the environment. These goals are not mutually exclusive.”

Each year, the NDGGA co-sponsors an “E-Tour” in North Dakota, hosting EPA officials from headquarters and Region 8 to learn first-hand about modern agriculture and provide them an opportunity to engage with producers, ag retailers, agronomists, and university extension officials. The event is intended to bring producers and EPA together to facilitate conversations regarding regulations and educate those making decisions on current farming practices.

“Producers, agronomists, and Agriculture Input Retailers, including seed dealers are professionals who care about the success of farming as well as the future of production agriculture,” Kessel added. “We will continue to bring grower impacts to EPA as environmental groups continue to bring lawsuits to the courts.”