Grower organizations representing a variety of crops are disappointed with the Environmental Protection Agency’s draft biological evaluation (BE) for several neonicotinoid products. The groups representing farmers across the country say that failure to consider real-world usage data in the analysis conducted as part of the Endangered Species Act could limit growers’ ability to protect their crops from pests, protect their livelihoods, and make sure endangered species are safe.
The American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Cotton Council, and Minor Crop Farmer Alliance say ESA analysis, by law, is required to use “the best scientific and commercial data available” to ensure endangered species and their habitats will not be adversely affected by the agency’s decision. The groups point out that the EPA didn’t use the “best available data” and say that several assumptions the EPA made don’t align with how growers actually use the products.
“USDA survey and commercial use data are available and show how growers use these tools, but the draft BE instead includes application rates, numbers, types, and reapplication timing for these products that are very inconsistent with the actual available data,” says Kevin Scott, president of the American Soybean Association.