Cotton producers have until Dec. 13 to submit comments to EPA on the risks and benefits of the herbicide MSMA in controlling problem weeds in cotton production systems.

EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs has been conducting a review of the risks and benefits of MSMA and of other pesticides under a 1996 law that required the re-registration of all pesticide tolerances.

The original deadline for comments on the proposed MSMA re-registration was Nov. 13, but the Office of Pesticide Programs extended the deadline to allow more stakeholders to comment on the herbicide’s risks and benefits.

Comments filed to date indicate that cotton producers support re-registration of MSMA because it is an effective alternative chemistry and important component as a post-directed herbicide in integrated resistance management programs for weeds such as Palmer amaranth.

“We think the use of MSMA should be continued because it is an effective tool in these kinds of programs,” Larry Steckel, Extension weed scientist with the University of Tennessee, said at Cotton Incorporated’s Crop Management Seminar in Memphis.

“We’re urging growers and consultants to let EPA know about their concerns.”

The National Cotton Council has assembled background material on MSMA that can be found on its Web site at http://www.cotton.org/issues/members/2006/msma.cfm.

NCC representatives have participated in meetings with EPA officials to respond to questions about MSMA use and to convey support for re-registration.

Comments can be submitted on-line at http://www.regulations.gov using the docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0201.

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