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Pesticide Tolerance Regulation Updates in 2021

A chronological list of all pesticide tolerance requests in 2021 along with which ag commodities could be most impacted.

According to the World Health Organization, farmers worldwide use more than 1,000 pesticides to protect crops from insects, disease, and weeds. Pesticides often carry a negative connotation with them but they have proven to be a valuable tool for farmers when used responsibly by helping them grow more food on less land and protecting the crops they work hard to grow from pests and disease. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is constantly monitoring pesticide safety data and collaborates with state agencies to review new findings and adjust regulations as needed to protect human health and the environment.  

Below is a chronological summary of pesticide tolerance regulations that were updated in 2021, along with the ag commodities that could be most impacted by these changes.

Approved Pesticide Tolerance Requests in 2021

Ethaboxam 

Use: Ethaboxam is a highly effective fungicide that protects against a wide variety of diseases, including downy mildew, by limiting soil-borne pathogens.

Commodities impacted: Beets, sugar, roots.

Update: Residual tolerance was requested by  Valent U.S.A. LLC. under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and became effective on February 9, 2021.  

Benzovindiflupyr

Use: Benzovindiflupyr is a highly effective fungicide that protects against a broad range of fungal diseases, including blight, mildew, rust, scab, and more.

Commodities impacted: Lowbush blueberries, ginseng, and sugar beet roots, leaves, and dried pulp.

Update: Residual tolerance was requested by Valent U.S.A. LLC. under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on February 9, 2021.  

Orthosulfamuron  

Use: Orthosulfamuron is a systemic herbicide that is used against annual and perennial broadleaf weeds, sedges, and barnyard grass. 

Commodities impacted: Rice. 

Update: Residual tolerance was requested by Nichino America under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on February 17, 2021.  

Clopyralid 

Use: Clopyralid is an herbicide used for selective control of noxious and nuisance weeds like dandelions, clover, and thistle by mimicking plant growth hormone that causes plant termination.  

Commodities impacted: Wheatgrass bran, forage, germ, grain, middling, shorts, and straw. 

Update: Residual tolerance was requested by the Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4) under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on February 17, 2021. 

Emamectin Benzoate 

Use: The benzoate salt of emamectin is used to prevent emerald ash borer infestations in ash trees.  

Commodities impacted: Tea. 

Update: Residual tolerance was requested by Syngenta Crop Protection under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on February 17, 2021. 

Oxalic Acid 

Use: Oxalic acid is a naturally-occurring acid found in plants that is used to kill varroa mites that are deadly to honeybee colonies.  

Commodities impacted: Honey and honeycomb. 

Update: An exemption was established by the EPA from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of oxalic acid on honey and honeycomb. This regulation eliminates the need to establish a maximum permissible level of oxalic acid residues and was established on February 23, 2021.  

Tretraniliprole 

Use: Tretraniliprole is a newly-developed insecticide that was designed to prevent a wide range of common agricultural pests. 

Commodities impacted: Tree nuts, stone fruit, vine crops, corn, tobacco, leafy vegetables, soybeans, citrus, sod, and more.  

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by Bayer CropScience under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on February 24, 2021.  

Picarbutrazox 

Use: Picarbutrazox is a seed treatment of corn, soybeans, and select specialty crops to control Phytophthora—a type of water mold.

Commodities impacted: Corn, soybeans, hay, and leafy greens.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by Nippon Soda Co., Ltd c/o Nisso America, Inc. under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on March 5, 2021.  

Quizalofop ethyl

Use: Quizalofol ethyl is a selective herbicide used to control annual and perennial grass weeds.

Commodities impacted: Cottonseed, select fruits, sunflowers, and pennycress.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the Interregional Project Number 4 (IR-4) under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on March 8, 2021.  

Fluindapyr

Use: Fluindapyr is a fungicide used to protect against fungal diseases, including anthracnose, leaf spot, bermudagrass decline, brown rot blossom blight, leaf rust, pink snow mold, powdery mildew, rot eastern filbert blight, and scab.

Commodities impacted: Soybeans, cereal grains (except for rice) and straw, forage, fodder, and tree nuts.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the FMC Corporation under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on March 9, 2021.  

Pyriofenone

Use: Pyriofenone is a fungicide with locally systemic and curative properties that protect against foliar diseases.

Commodities impacted: Most small, vine climbing fruit with the exception of grapes and raisins.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the ISK BIOSCIENCES Corporation under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on April 5, 2021.  

Spinosad

Use: Spinosad is a natural substance that is toxic to numerous pests, including thrips, leafminers, spider mites, mosquitoes, ants, and more.

Commodities impacted: Dragon fruit, head and stem vegetables, leafy vegetables, and berries (except for strawberries).

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4) under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on April 7, 2021.  

Penthiopyrad

Use: Penthiopyrad is a broad-spectrum systemic fungicide for controlling foliar and soil-borne plants diseases on a broad range of agricultural crops.

Commodities impacted: Persimmon.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Inc., c/o Landis International, Inc. under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on April 7, 2021.  

MCPA

Use: MCPA is an herbicide used to control broadleaf annual and perennial weeds.

Commodities impacted: Wheatgrass, grain, hay, and straw.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4) under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on April 7, 2021.  

Flupyradifurone

Use: Flupyradifurone is a novel alternative insecticide that protects a wide range of crops from sucking pest species, including aphids, stink bugs, psyllids, and more.

Commodities impacted: Sugar, sugarcane, and molasses.

Update: Residue tolerance was established through a crisis exemption under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) on April 26, 2021. Time-limited tolerances expire on December 31, 2023.

Trifludimoxazin

Use: Trifludimoxazin is an herbicide that was created for both pre and post-emergent control of broadleaf and grass weeds.

Commodities impacted: Almonds, citrus, grain, peanuts, hay, legumes, and select vegetables.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the BASF corporation under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on May 17, 2021.  

Difenoconazole

Use: Difenoconazole is a sterol-inhibiting herbicide that acts as a seed treatment, foliar spray, and systemic fungicide.

Commodities impacted: Olives and persimmon.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC. and the American Spice Trade Association under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on June 3, 2021.  

Tolfenpyrad 

Use: Tolfenpyrad is a contact insecticide that inhibits an organism’s energy metabolism and also acts as a contact fungicide.

Commodities impacted: Artichokes.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the Interregional Project Number 4 (IR-4) under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on June 16, 2021.  

Fluxapyroxad

Use: Fluxapyroxad is a broad-spectrum fungicide used on a wide range of food crops.

Commodities impacted: Cottonseed, fruiting vegetables, pome fruit, and pomegranate.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the Interregional Project Number 4 (IR-4) under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on July 13, 2021.  

Thiabendazole

Use: Thiabendazole is a systemic benzimidazole fungicide used to protect fruit and vegetables against diseases such as mold, rot, blight, and stain.

Commodities impacted: Animal feed and select roots, leafy greens, carrots, and citrus.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the Interregional Project Number 4 (IR-4) under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on August 30, 2021.  

Acequinocyl

Use: Acequinocyl is a pesticide used to control all stages of mites in fruit crops.

Commodities impacted: Select permanent crops, including tropical and subtropical fruits that range from medium to large in size.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the Interregional Project Number 4 (IR-4) under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on August 31, 2021.  

Fluazinam

Use: Fluazinamis a protectant fungicide that is neither systemic or curative and is used to control fungi.

Commodities impacted: Legumes, soybeans, and select leafy vegetables.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the Interregional Project Number 4 (IR-4) under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on September 20, 2021.  

Metalaxyl

Use: Metalaxyl is a seed treatment that controls systemic downy mildew, seed rot, and early signs of Phytophthora diseases of select crops.

Commodities impacted: Black pepper.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the American Spice Trade Association under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on September 24, 2021.  

Clothianidin

Use: Clothianidin is an insecticide used on both food and non-food crops that controls sucking and chewing pests.

Commodities impacted: Animal feed, leafy vegetables, select fruits, and turf.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the McLaughlin Gormley King Company D/B/A MG under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on October 12, 2021.  

Propamocarb

Use: Propamocarb is a fungicide used for soil and seed treatments to prevent root rot and fungal diseases.

Commodities impacted: Head and stem vegetables.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the Interregional Project Number 4 (IR-4) under the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on October 19, 2021.  

Chlorpyrifos

Use: Chlorpyrifos—commonly known as the former product Lorsban® among farmers—is a powerful defense against pests and insects that threaten crops like soybeans, fruit and nut trees, broccoli, cauliflower, and various row crops.

Commodities impacted: A majority of U.S. food crops.

Update: The EPA revoked all tolerances of chlorpyrifos residue on food crops due to a lack of evidence that aggregate exposure meets the safety standards of the Federal Food, Drug and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). The effective date is October 29, 2021.

Dive deeper: Learn more about the impact of the chlorpyrifos ban and its impact on U.S. farmers.

Fluensulfone

Use: Fluensulfone is a nematicide used initially on greenhouse-cultivated crops to control root-knot nematodes.

Commodities impacted: Soybeans, seeds, select roots, leafy greens, head and stem vegetables, and sugar.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by both Makhteshim Agan of North America (d/b/a ADAMA) and the Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4) under the Federal Food, Drug, and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). The latest tolerance thresholds were established on November 1, 2021.

Benzobicyclon

Use: Benzobicyclon is a pro-herbicide that is applied to wet soil for weed management.

Commodities impacted: Rice and regionally-restricted commodities.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the Gowan Company under the Federal Food, Drug, and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on November 2, 2021.

Pyriproxyfen

Use: Pyriproxyfen is a pesticide that is an insect growth regulator by mimicking natural insect hormones that stop insect maturation.

Commodities impacted: Eggs and poultry products.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the McLaughlin Gormley King Company D/B/A MGK under the Federal Food, Drug, and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on November 15, 2021.

Bifenthrin

Use: Bifenthrin is an insecticide in the pyrethroid family that is used against ant infestations and other crop pests.

Commodities impacted: Avocadoes, leafy greens, citrus, vine climbing fruit, peaches, pomegranate, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and more.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the Interregional Project Number 4 (IR-4) and FMC Corporation under the Federal Food, Drug, and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on December 1, 2021.

Cyflumetofen

Use: Cyflumetofen is a chemical agent used to kill mites and ticks.

Commodities impacted: Hops.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by the Interregional Project Number 4 (IR-4) and FMC Corporation under the Federal Food, Drug, and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on December 6, 2021.

Isoprothiolane

Use: Isoprothiolane is a systemic fungicide that offers both protective and curative action.

Commodities impacted: Bananas, rice, and bran.

Update: Residue tolerance was requested by Nichino America, Inc. under the Federal Food, Drug, and, Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and was established on December 6, 2021.

Keep reading: New Clean Water Act Could Mean Big Changes for Farmers and Ranchers 

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