The state’s application, which was submitted to EPA last December, asked for permission for rice growers to use the herbicide in 2001 for the control of resistant barnyardgrass, Indian jointvetch and Northern jointvetch.

According to Tommy McDaniel, branch director for the Mississippi Bureau of Plant Industry in Starkville, Miss., EPA provided three reasons for its rejection of Mississippi’s request for an emergency exemption use permit for Valent’s Regiment herbicide.

The EPA, in essence, said that rice growers do not need Regiment because there are already two products available to them that offer control of resistant barnyardgrass. The products EPA is referring to are Command, which is now registered for use in rice, and Ricestar, which has been granted a Section 18 for 2001 in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

“Without resistant barnyardgrass as a factor, EPA officials said they could only consider the Section 18 application based on the need for rice growers to control Indian jointvetch and Northern jointvetch. And, they said, those two weeds weren’t enough to justify an exemption for Regiment,” says McDaniel.

In addition, because Regiment is a new chemical and EPA has not yet finished its review of “all the relevant data,” the agency said it would not have enough time before the use season to issue a safety finding on the product.