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MADISON

Public comments are open through April on a proposed special pesticide registration that would allow potato growers to use Linex® 4L to control weeds in sandy soils.

The registration would help potato growers control broadleaf weeds, especially common ragweed and Eastern black nightshade. These weeds have become a problem in Wisconsin potato production in recent years. Both can outcompete potatoes, reducing yields, and nightshade produces poisonous berries. Potato growers rely heavily on a few herbicides, which can increase the risk of weeds becoming herbicide resistant. Linex® 4L works differently than currently used herbicides. By using multiple modes of action, growers can reduce the risk of weeds developing herbicide resistance.

Linex® 4L is registered for use on potatoes and other crops in Wisconsin, but not in sandy soils; that is why a special registration is necessary. Tessenderlo Kerley Inc. is the manufacturer, and the active ingredient is linuron.

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will impose additional restrictions on the types of soils where Linex® 4L may be applied if groundwater is 30 feet or less from the surface, if there is insufficient organic matter in the soil. It also cannot be applied within 150 feet of a well where groundwater is 30 feet or less from the surface, or in any way that would contaminate irrigation water or water used in homes and businesses.

The preliminary environmental assessment indicates that the proposed registration will not require a full environmental assessment. This special registration will expire December 31, 2021.

For a copy of the assessment, contact Otto Oemig, DATCP, P.O. Box 8911, Madison, WI, 53708-8911, 608-224-4542, otto.oemig@wisconsin.gov.

It is also available for review at the department Monday-Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 2811 Agriculture Dr., Madison, second floor.

Comments received on or before 4:30 p.m.will become part of the preliminary environmental assessment record. Send comments to Otto Oemig by mail at the above postal or email address.

The special registration process allows states to register additional uses of pesticide products other than those listed on their labels, without prior federal approval. It helps growers address local pest problems that cannot be adequately controlled by any available federally registered product. These problems include insect outbreaks, fungal diseases, and grasses and weeds that outcompete crops.

Details about the special registration process are available at http://datcp.wi.gov/Plants/Pesticides/Special_Registrations/index.aspx

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