EPA lowers fine against Syngenta for pesticide misuse

Syngenta announced this week that it will pay $550,000 in fines after the Environmental Protection Agency found that it misused the pesticide chlorpyrifos at a test field in Hawaii. The fine is dramatically lower than the nearly $5 million initially sought by the Obama administration. Scott Pruitt, Trump's EPA chief, overruled a recommendation by agency scientists to ban chlorpyrifos for agricultural use.

House bill would suspend use of neonicotinoid insecticides

Two Democratic lawmakers unveiled legislation to suspend the use of neonicotinoid insecticides, with the goal of reducing high mortality rates of honeybees and other pollinating species.

A ‘David vs. Goliath battle’ over a weedkiller

The Arkansas State Plant Board, responding to nearly 1,000 complaints of crop damage due to dicamba, voted in January to bar use of the herbicide on cotton and soybeans during the 2018 growing season. Now Monsanto, dicamba’s maker, has “sued the board and each individual member,” reports NPR.

Senate bill would exempt feedlots from reporting air pollution

Nearly two dozen senators co-sponsored a bill that would exempt an estimated 100,000 large livestock farms from reporting emissions from manure and other animal waste. Sponsors include the leaders of the Senate committee that would handle the bill.

In contentious hearing, House panel revisits glyphosate safety

At a high-tension House hearing, members of Congress and expert witnesses yet again debated the safety of the pesticide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, the most popular herbicide in the world. The hearing, convened by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, brought a diverse panel to weigh the Environmental Protection Agency’s assessment of the chemical’s safety against the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s assessment.

EPA delays Obama’s WOTUS rule until 2020 while it writes its own version

President Trump set out to erase the Obama-era Waters of the United States rule in his first weeks in office. Now the EPA has finalized an action that should keep the so-called WOTUS rule from ever taking effect.

Pruitt says year-round E15 hinges on authority, not policy

Last fall, the EPA said it would investigate whether it has the authority to allow year-round sales of E15, a higher blend of ethanol and gasoline than the traditional 10 percent ratio. Administrator Scott Pruitt said there has been no decision yet, reported DTN/ProgressiveFarmer.

Access to safe and healthy food is in peril, says food movement group

The Trump administration is imperiling access to safe and healthy food, throttling organic farmers and siding with meatpackers on livestock sales regulation, said the Food Policy Action Education Fund in a "State of the Plate" report. "This administration’s regulatory rollbacks, political appointments, and executive orders have affected everyone within our food system–from workers to producers to consumers," said Monica Mills, head of the group.

Arkansas board sticks to April 16 cutoff of dicamba on cotton and soybeans

The Arkansas State Plant Board voted for the second time on dicamba regulations and had the same answer: a ban from April 16 to Oct. 31 on use of the weedkiller on cotton and soybeans, said the Associated Press.

Pesticide applicators warned Illinois about potential dicamba damage

The Illinois Department of Agriculture was warned a year ago about the potential crop damage that could be caused by the herbicide dicamba if the department didn’t tighten regulations on its use, says a report by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.