Pests and Diseases, Sustainability

Maine potato growers eyeing insecticide decision

A pile of potatoes can be seen recently in Machias.Potato growers in Maine are cautiously watching the actions of the Environmental Protection Agency as it reviews federal regulations for a popular insecticide that can be harmful to bees. Imidacloprid is an effective insecticide against the Colorado potato beetle, which can seriously damage potato crops, according to Don Flannery, executive director of the Maine Potato Board. The EPA is reviewing use of the pesticide as required every 15 years to ensure it is still useful without causing “unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment.” As part of that review process, the EPA has completed a draft ecological risk assessment for agricultural uses of the pesticide and has opened a public comment period that is supposed to end March 15. (Source: Bangor Daily News)

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