augusta free press news

EPA and farmers: Glyphosate is a ‘valuable tool’

epaVirginia farmers have an opportunity to comment on the EPA review of the broad-spectrum herbicide used in Roundup.

The EPA is holding a public comment period over its proposed interim registration review of glyphosate. The agency’s review has found that glyphosate creates “no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen.”

The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging farmers—and any supporters—to submit comments urging the EPA to continue its science-based evaluation of glyphosate’s significance. According to the AFBF, the loss of glyphosate would present a significant challenge to farmers via reduced  crop quality, farm productivity and profitability.

“It is important to support the EPA’s current assessment that glyphosate is a beneficial tool for U.S. farmers,” said Tony Banks, a commodity marketing specialist for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “It’s essential that we help the public understand why it is an important tool for growing America’s food supply and soil conservation.”

Banks said glyphosate is a widely used crop protection tool for Virginia cotton, corn and soybean farmers. “No-till planting and conservation tillage increased over 9% from 2012 to 2017, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Reduced- and no-till planting are being practiced on over 40%—about 1,257,000 acres—of Virginia’s cropland primarily because of glyphosate management,” he explained.

“Without glyphosate, Virginia farmers would use more energy and fossil fuel to produce crops; soil compaction and erosion would increase; and more, not fewer, herbicides would be applied to help control weeds.”

Comments are due to the EPA by Sept. 3 and can be logged via an AFBF-maintained online form atfb.org/advocacy/action-alerts/crop-protection. “We strongly encourage farmers to submit comments on how important glyphosate is to their livelihoods,” Banks added.