By Kimberly Johnson and Jess Feldman
University of Maryland Extension Educator and Principal Agent Dave Myers will be featured on the Chlorpyrifos and the Legal Landscape of Pesticide Regulation panel at this year’s Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference on Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Annapolis, MD. Register for the conference here. Myers will join Joshua Segal, Office of the Maryland Attorney General and Lindsay Thompson, Thompson Ag Consulting, to discuss the regulatory and legal landscape surrounding chlorpyrifos and how this may impact regulation of other pesticides.
Myers teaches a course on Pesticide Use and Safety at the Institute of Applied Agriculture at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland, College Park. He will discuss the use of pesticides, like the commonly used chlorpyrifos, as important biochemical tools used to solve critical agricultural production problems.
Pest insects present a key agricultural production problem. They can damage crops causing substantial losses for farmers and threatening the viability of agricultural production networks.
Myers will examine how the use of varied pesticides is necessary to reduce the likelihood of insects developing a resistance to insecticides. “The loss of chlorpyrifos greatly diminishes the ability to properly rotate effective families of insecticide chemistry,” Myers explained.
Last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew a proposed rule which would have deregistered the pesticide Chlorpyrifos. In response, several states, including Maryland, legally challenged this action. In August, a federal appeals court ordered the EPA to ban the pesticide within 60 days. EPA officials have said they will appeal this decision.
According to Myers, when Lorsban 4E, another name for chlorpyrifos, is used properly and according to the label, it is effective with a low hazard potential beyond the application site. “The low water solubility of the pesticide gives it a low mobility in soil, making it very unlikely to contaminate the environment beyond the intended site of use,” Myers said.
Myers’ diverse experience in agriculture began with plowing fields at nine years old in Anne Arundel County. While studying agronomy, crop science, and weed science at the University of Maryland in 1980, he worked on the U.S. Naval Academy Dairy Farm. Before joining UMD’s Extension Program, Myers served as Crops Master and Agronomist for the USDA Dairy Farm. “My major research and Extension program efforts have been in support of the fruit and vegetable industry, the protection of natural resources, and pesticide use education,” Myers said.
For more information on the fourth annual Agricultural and Environmental Law Conference, or to register, visit https://go.umd.edu/aleiconf.