Endangered species protection bulletins released for Intrepid in six west Michigan counties

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has recently released an "Endangered Species Protection Bulletin" for Karner Blue butterfly in Allegan, Monroe, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana counties in Michigan. This announcement makes it seem like a new restriction, but it is not. The full label for Intrepid (Section 3) has always contained the same language in its Endangered Species section: "Do not apply this product within one mile of sandy habitats that support wild lupine plants" and the same six west Michigan counties are listed. What is new is the EPA website where they are posting the Bulletins Live! maps showing the counties affected by the restrictions. These are available at www.epa.gov/espp/bulletins.htm.

The practical implications of this for Michigan fruit growers are that if you farm in these counties and if you have fields that are within one mile of wild lupine habitat, then you are restricted from using Intrepid in those fields. See the photo of wild lupine in bloom. We recommend that if you farm in these counties, you go to the website listed above and print off the bulletin for your county for the month that you plan to apply Intrepid. If you are in these counties, learn to identify wild lupine and the specific dry sandy areas where it grows. While the announcement does not make clear the enforcement of this restriction, it is a legal part of the label. This is made clear in the text as part of the announcement: Bulletins are enforceable as part of pesticide labeling and state law may require that you have a copy of the Bulletin applicable to your pesticide use in your possession. While not a federal requirement, EPA recommends that you print the Bulletin for your records.

If you do have sandy habitats that support wild lupine within one mile of your fields where you planned to apply Intrepid as part of your insect management program, there are many other options available for control of insect pests. Intrepid is the only product with this restriction, and the similar product Confirm has no such restrictions.

More information on this plant and the Karner Blue butterfly are available from the US Fish and Wildlife Service at: www.fws.gov/midwest/Endangered/insects/kbb/lupine.html

Dr. Isaacs's work is funded in part by MSU's AgBioResearch.

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