"Exempt" Pesticides

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by GroundKprs, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    This topic was brought up in another thread, and should really have a heading all its own. In a discussion of what pesticides can be used without regulation, both in the formulation and use of such products, muddstopper introduced the FIFRA 25b list at: http://www.epa.gov/oppbppd1/biopesticides/regtools/25b_list.htm. This is a list of products that the EPA has exempted from requiring registration to sell as pesticides.

    So the EPA allows these to be produced as pesticides, with minimal regulation on how the products can be labeled.

    But then comes the question: Can you use these products in the sale of a lawn care program? The answer, of course, depends on your own state pesticide regulatory authority. Besides obtaining an EPA registration number or exemption, pesticides must be approved by each state for use within their borders. In addition, each state regulates the commercial applicators of pesticides.

    In Indiana, the state regulator is the Office of the Indiana State Chemist, OISC. This is the take on 25b:
    3) Do State governments regulate these exempted pesticide products?
    Yes, Indiana and many other states continue to regulate these products. The FIFRA section 25(b) exemption is for Federal registration only. (emphasis was used on the department notice).

    I searched the Indiana pesticide database (14,050 products) for the first 5 on the 25b list. The only one registered in IN was citronella, and of the 23 products, only 4 did not have EPA numbers. They are used for repelling insects, and are general merchandise, not items marketed to commercial applicators.

    Also of concern, what does your state regulatory office say on use of unregistered products by commercial applicators? Remember, states regulate people using pesticides, not just registered pesticides. An operator using boiling water to control fire ants was fined and put out of business; the water was being used as a pesticide, and he was not licensed to apply pesticides.

    It just appears that 25b is a recourse to allow product to be available to fringe organics enthusiasts. And these products are marketed for personal use, not for commercial use. Where is the commercial direction that is supposed to be the basis of this forum?

    So, again, I learn a lot, but I learn nothing to help me sell an organic lawn care program. Can someone please reveal what organic pesticides he uses legally in his organic lawn care program? Please forget CGM, because use of CGM at the recommended dosage is culturally abominable in my cool season turf area.
  2. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,345

    At the risk of getting into a peeing contest.
    I would think that if you had a pesticide license then any of the 30 or so organics listed in 25b could be used in a legal pesticide business. Even in Indiana. The main thing is that you cant misrepresent the products.

    Criteria 4: The product must not make public health claims. For example, the label may refer to controlling ticks or mosquitoes, but may not in any way refer to or claim to prevent any specific disease carried by those pests, such as Lyme disease, encephalitis, or West Nile Virus.

    These products are manufactored and packaged for commercial use. The exemption has been applied for and recieved, thats why they are on the list.

    4. Can other substances be added to the active ingredient list?
    It is possible, but the U.S. EPA would require information adequate to demonstrate minimal toxicity and risk, which the Agency could review and evaluate. Also, since these minimal risk active ingredients are in the Code of Federal Regulations, the Agency would have to undertake a rule-making process requiring public notice and comment to amend 40 CFR to add new substances

    Last time I looked at Wally world, most of the chemicals you use in a commercial business could also be purchased for personal use by the "fringe chemical enthusiasts".

    You ask where is the commercial direction in this forum. Well everytime a commercial person gets on this forum they are automaticly attacked and ridiculed by the chemical operators. They try to give information and someone starts cutting them down with insults and crys of snakeoils. Now just how long would you stay at a forum if everyone here started attacking every word you posted. I am not a lawn care business, I dont do chemicals or organics. I am greatly interested in the organics which is why I visit this forum. I have also searched a lot of other sites and think the organics will soon be the big money maker in lawn care. But its not going to work the same way the chemical lawn care does. I think that scares a lot of chemical operators. Those that dont want to change the way they do business.
  3. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 566

    Great news. I just signed 2 HOA contracts because they heard that I used alternatives to traditional pesticides. In the hardscapes I will be using horticultural vinegar. For the lawns I will focus on cultural methods incl organic fert, aeration and overseeding. They have adjusted their pest threshold level for the lawns accordinly and are happy to pay extra for my knowledge and ability to help them. They are old and worried about their pets and visiting grandkids based on what various levels of governments here are telling them about traditional pesticides.

    Canadian law states: vinegar is on the exempted list so u dont need a licence to apply it. ( i am in fact licenced) and 2. you cant use the no-name brand horticultural vinegar (my supplier has it) It has to be Ecoclear horticultural vinegar because only this has been listed as an approved pest control product. It has been studied, the company has paid for the study and govt approval proccess.

    Similarly, I get no name Corn Gluten Meal from a supplier. I can only sell this as organic fertlizer with side effects. (the side effects are it may inhibit growth of annual weeds. If I buy Turfmaize brand C.G.M. I can sell it as organic weed and feed since again, the company has paid for the study and the registration as a herbicide.

    our exempted list has been updated and includes these and others. dormant oil, BTK, and others.
  4. Although my knowledge of pesticide laws is some what limited, I was UNDER the impression a license pesticide appliactor MUST obey the label, and follow all instructions.
  6. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    If someone doesn't want a peeing contest, then keep it in your pants and provide some positive answers. We don't need anyone else "thinking" about how laws are applied in each state.

    Read the last paragraph of my post ,and the same on timturf's post. And give a positive answer or go argue on another thread.

    Note from T2BO's post that Canadian companies have produced properly registered and labeled products to be used in commercial applications. Where are similar legal products here in the USA today?
  7. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    Isnt the root of an organic program to not use (or reduce the use of)pesticides?
    whether they be organic or synthetic or registered or legal.

    Pardon me for my persistence , but an organic program is all about producing a healthy, thick stand of turf, that is resistant to disease, and a healthy thick stand of turf will choke out weeds without the need for pesticides.

    In the real world, application of pesticides may be required from time to time to control weeds or insect problem or whatever... in that case a certified applicator could apply his pesticide of choice. So logically it would follow that he would use a legal,registered pesticide that he would normally use in a non-organic(or mainstream) situation.

    Now, that wouldnt make a 100%organic program...so what!!! Life goes on.
    I really doubt that there is a 100% organic commercial program out there in the market place.

    So, the LCO could advertise an 'organic' program with a footnote that application of pesticides may be required from time to time to control outbreaks of weeds or insects or disease problems.

    So.... this would satisfy what Tim said..."Again, we're talking about HOW a license pesticide applicatorcan use an organic program! The discuss really isn't if it will work, but is it legal, econmical, and provide the results clients expect!''

    So if we assume an organic program works...and that the 'as required' use of pesticides(which are legal and registered)was required to meet the clients expectations. THis eliminates the problem of using high priced 'questionable' , 'not necessarily effective' organic 'pesticides' ,and all the legal ramifications that goes along with them.

    So the term 'bridge' program would apply here.
  8. I normally consider bridged or fortified in reference to a organic fertilizer which has a synthetic fert, or maybe even a natural fertilizer added!

    So, are you saying use the best of both worlds! Organic and synthetic?
  9. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    Yes, Tim, it only makes sense.

    I understand that bridged refers to the fertilizer, but i couldnt think of a better term.

    you put it right though..''the best of both worlds''. :)

    Suppose a customer doesnt want pesticides, so he doesnt get them. And he may have weed, insect and disease, that is his choice. Maybe 'organic to him means just having a green yard and getting his grass cut.

    I maintain that simple basic cultural practices is what makes an organic program...so fertilizing(your fertilizer of choice),proper mowing,proper watering and NO PESTICIDES (''exempt'' or otherwise). THere will be weeds and maybe the turf wont be the greenest on the block, but that is the nature of an organic lawn.
  10. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Woody, you are suffering from a severe case of common sense!!

    The problem is that organic enthusiasts equate pesticides and chemical fertilizers with poisons. I have seen it so many times here, and other places, that it is stated, "Pesticides kill the microbes" and "Chemicals (including chemical fertilizers) poison the soil." While some chemicals do have some negative effect on soil life forms, not all have the same effect. But the arguement is always that chemicals and pesticides should be abolished. Common sense is apparently not a part of the organic equation.

    All I am asking is how to operate 100% organically and legally. Seems the only real organic answers are to operate outside the law or deceive the client that you are not using "pesticides" or "chemicals."

Share This Page