Current Use of Chlorpyrifos and Food Tolerances

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For concerns regarding the use of chlorpyrifos on crops during the 2024 growing season, producers should contact their local extension educator for assistance.

Current Use of Chlorpyrifos and Food Tolerances

In February 2022, the EPA revoked all food tolerances for chlorpyrifos, an insecticide commonly used in several Nebraska cropping systems. A food tolerance is the tolerable amount of pesticide residue present on or in the food or feed. This change came from concern for public health and links to neurodevelopmental effects on humans. Due to the tolerances being revoked, many chlorpyrifos-containing products were unable to be used in the 2022 and 2023 growing season. Many producers and companies had product on hand that could not be applied due to the regulation that site must be listed on the label.

However, in November 2023, the Eighth Circuit Court vacated the EPA’s Final Rule that revoked all food and feed tolerances for chlorpyrifos. This means that chlorpyrifos products that are currently registered in the state of Nebraska can be used on food and feed crops, following normal label requirements.

The agrochemical company ADAMA requested and was permitted in May 2023 to cancel food uses on its chlorpyrifos-containing products. In March 2024, the EPA released an update on existing stocks provision for these three chlorpyrifos products. Updates to the dates by which these products can be sold and distributed, and when existing stocks can be used on food and non-food sites are listed in Table 1. Once these dates have passed, unless otherwise determined by the EPA, the products will no longer be available to distribute, sell or use.

Table 1. List of chlorpyrifos-containing products from ADAMA (registered in Nebraska) with special provisions.
Company Product Name EPA Reg. No. Labeled Sites* Sale and distribution Use of existing stocks on food and feed labeled sites Use of existing stocks on non-food labeled sites
ADAMA Chlorpyrifos 4E AG (Quali-Pro Chlorpyrifos 4E) 66222-19 Alfalfa, corn (field, sweet, seed), dry bean, sorghum, soybean, sugar beets, sunflower, wheat Permitted until April 30, 2025 Permitted until June 30, 2025 Until all product is used

*Sites relevant to Nebraska crop production listed here. See product labels for full details on additional horticultural, turf, ornamental, structural and other uses.

Future of Chlorpyrifos

It is expected that the EPA will propose a new rule in the near future to revoke the food and feed tolerances for chlorpyrifos from all but 11 specific sites: alfalfa, apple, asparagus, cherry (tart), citrus, cotton, peach, soybean, strawberry, sugarbeet, wheat (spring), and wheat (winter). These 11 sites are being considered for modified tolerances.

The EPA is also engaged in discussions with pesticide registrants to further reduce human and environmental exposures. Therefore, additional changes to how chlorpyrifos can be used are expected.

It is crucial that we stay up to date on regulatory changes for the protection of ourselves, the environment, and our communities. As you navigate these new provisions, contact your local extension educator or specialist to get guidance on any questions you may have.

If you have surplus products containing chlorpyrifos on the farm that cannot be applied, you can contact your pesticide dealer to determine if they will take leftover product, as well as a local hazardous waste facility. See the Pesticide Safety Education Program site for disposal locations or use the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s recycling database to find locations.

The ongoing regulatory changes surrounding crop protection tools such as chlorpyrifos can make pest management a difficult task. This may result in the need to find other tools to manage insects in your operations. As we enter the growing season, it is important to consider alternative products. The Guide for Weed, Disease, and Insect Management in Nebraska has product-specific information that can aid in management decisions. See Nebraska Extension’s marketplace site to purchase this guidebook.

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