Pesticide Stewardship Update
In 1993, IFCA was part of a coalition that passed legislation to ensure that the regulation of pesticides was solely the responsibility of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. This law is commonly referred to as "Pesticide Preemption." At that time, the City of Chicago asked to be exempt and that was the compromise we made to ensure uniform pesticide regulation for the rest of the state. This week, Chicago decided to exercise their right to regulate pesticides, and they have banned the use of neonicotinoid pesticides by persons, organizations and community gardens. They will still allow veterinarians, certified applicators and farmers to use the products within the city limits.
Stewardship of pesticide use is fundamental to Illinois keeping the pesticide preemption law in place and avoiding a patchwork of pesticide regulations. As we head into 2017 with new uses of dicamba approved for later season application, it is imperative that we as an industry take great care to steward this technology. If the general public does not think that the current pesticide laws enforced by the IDA are stringent enough, and they complain in numbers to their legislators about pesticide damages, it won't take much for legislation to be introduced to remove pesticide preemption and give county or municipal governments the right to regulate pesticides above and beyond the IDA regulations for product sale or use. Please plan to attend the IFCA convention and participate in this stewardship discussion on dicamba use; we have sessions on both January 17 and January 19. Go to www.ifca.com and click on Convention to see the program and to register. You can also sign up to take your pesticide applicator or operator exam on January 18 at the Convention.