Department of Pesticide Regulation

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August 8, 2000

ENF 2000-029

TO: County Agricultural Commissioners


Hydrogen cyanamide, when applied "over the top" of dormant plant material at specific stages of growth, demonstrates plant growth regulating effects. A search of the Department of Pesticide Regulation's (DPR's) pesticide label database indicates there are two products containing hydrogen cyanamide which are registered for use on crops such as grapes and cherries. Recently we became aware that there are nonregistered hydrogen cyanamide products available in the marketplace and that some growers have chosen to use these products in this manner, but claim that the use is for "fertilizing" purposes. DPR's position on these uses of nonregistered hydrogen cyanamide products is as follows:

The application of hydrogen cyanamide directly to plants before bud break is a plant growth regulating use, not a foliar feed use regardless of the product's status as a registered fertilizing material with the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Any material used in this manner must be registered as a pesticide or a violation of section 12995 of the Food and Agricultural Code occurs. Any company marketing or advertising a hydrogen cyanamide product for direct application to dormant plants is guilty of marketing an unregistered pesticide.

If you have any questions, please contact the Senior Pesticide Use Specialist serving your county.


original signed by

David Duncan, Acting Chief
Pesticide Enforcement Branch
(916) 445-3871

original signed by

Barry Cortez, Chief
Pesticide Registration Branch
(916) 445-4377

cc: Mr. Daniel J. Merkley, Agricultural Commissioner Liaison
Mr. Steve Wong, Chief, Feed, Fertilizer & Livestock Drugs Branch, CDFA