On July 24, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft Herbicide Strategy under the Endangered Species Act for public comment. This new proposal makes significant changes to the approval and labeling process of herbicides and increases protection for over 900 species and their habitats. The proposal consists of over 900 pages of documents and multiple spreadsheets, and the period for submitting a comment was set by the EPA at 60 days. With such an immense amount of information to analyze, agricultural advocacy groups want more time to thoroughly review the materials and have been asking for a time extension to submit their comments on the proposed rule.
On August 31, Farm Bureau submitted an official comment asking for a 60-day extension to review the proposal and prepare a comment. In response to the strong demand for more time to consider the proposal, with some even asking for 90 days, the EPA has compromised and given a 30-day extension for the comment deadline. The new deadline has been moved from September 22 to October 22. Farm Bureau will continue to review the draft document and will be submitting an official comment to ensure the concerns of agricultural producers are heard.