Farming Isn’t Easy

amanda huber
Amanda Huber

In this issue of Peanut Grower, there is a lot of news about pesticides that reinforces my belief that it is getting more difficult to use products that you may have been using for decades.

For example, on page 14, you can read more about the new regulations that will apply to paraquat by the fall. Additional training and certification will be needed to use 2019-labeled product.

However, this chemical is still available to producers.

Another popular pesticide is likely to be lost to producers soon, says Mark Abney, University of Georgia Extension entomologist, in the article, “Be Ready For Soil Insects.”

Chlorpyrifos, brand name Lorsban and also generic formulations, will eventually be unavailable to producers, and there are no new active ingredients for soil pests coming in the near future, Abney says.

In the last few weeks, two chemicals have been banned for use in countries that we export to. Chlorothalonil has been voted for non-renewal by the European Union’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed. While this is for their own producers, how long will it be before it includes imports?

It was only a couple years ago that changes to propiconazole limits resulted in an industry ban of fungicides including Tilt Bravo, Stratego and Artisan, in order to preserve that export market.

Within a few days of the EU/chlorothalonil decision, Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development announced that Vietnam would ban the importation of glyphosate for use in that country.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued a statement in response to this in which he said, “We are disappointed in Vietnam’s decision to ban glyphosate, a move that will have devastating impacts on global agricultural production. If we’re going to feed 10 billion people by 2050, farmers worldwide need all the tools and technologies at our disposal.”

Again, this ban impacts Vietnam’s own producers most, but once you make it unavailable to your own producers, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that you’ll try to level the playing field by banning its use on imports as well.

Then again, if you are weary of the problems in using pesticides, you can always give organic production a try. That’s what a group of West Texas peanut producers have been doing, which you can read about on page 10.

Because of their climate and lack of disease problems, organic production is flourishing in that area. However, it is not without problems either – particularly stand establishment and weeds.

Any way you look at it, farming isn’t easy.

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