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Department of Pesticide Regulation

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Chris Reardon
Acting Director
  Edmund G. Brown Jr.
May 19, 2011   ENF 11-18
County Agricultural Commissioners  



This responds to a request for a labeling interpretation concerning the Section 24(c), first-party Special Local Need (SLN) labeling for Supracide® 2E, EPA Reg. No. 10163-236/SLN No. CA-010002 that allows application to alfalfa (grown for seed).

Question: After alfalfa grown for seed is harvested can alfalfa re-growth from the following (subsequent) growing year be harvested for hay, forage, or fodder? Section 24(c) labeling under the "Directions for Use, " states:

"Make foliar applications after spring cut back for control of Lygus, leafhoppers, and weevil. A maximum of one application per season is allowed." The labeling under "Precautions" states: "Do not feed or graze treated growth of alfalfa forage or fodder. Do not cut treated growth of alfalfa for hay or forage. Seed from treated plants may not be used for sprouts. No portion of the treated field, including seed, seed screenings, hay or forage may be used for human or animal consumption." (Emphasis added)

Answer: The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) interprets "treated growth" on the Supracide 2E section 24(c) labeling as plant growth that occurs after the alfalfa has been treated, as well as growth after it has been harvested for seed during the growing season in which the seed alfalfa was treated. However, if the alfalfa field overwinters (alfalfa is perennial crop) and grows the following growing season to be harvested as hay, forage, or fodder, the new re-growth (or "untreated growth") is considered a new crop. The new crop can be harvested for hay, forage, or fodder. Note that harvest of plant growth occurring after treated alfalfa is harvested for seed and during the current alfalfa seed production growing season would be in conflict with the Supracide® 2E section 24(c) labeling and a violation of Food and Agriculture Code (FAC) section 12973.

This interpretation is based on the following:

  • DPR and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognize that the perennial alfalfa plant is a dynamic plant organism with distinct growth cycles over time and that the precautionary prohibit harvest statement is specific to the "treated portions of the plant." Section 24(c) SLN Supracide® 2E registrations issued by EPA in states such as Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming where the words "current year's" make it clear that the harvest prohibition applies only to the current year's treated portions of the plant.

    The precautionary harvest prohibition statement on those labels reads as follows:

    "Precautions: "Do not feed or graze current year's alfalfa for hay or forage. Do not cut current year's growth of alfalfa for hay or forage. Seeds from treated fields may not be used for sprouts. No portion of the treated field, including seed, seed screenings, hay, forage, or stubble may be used for human or animal consumption."
  • Supracide® 2E Insecticide is not a systemic pesticide.
  • Based on alfalfa plant physiology, once the alfalfa seedling grows and becomes established in a field, the development of the crown allows winter survival. In the following growing year, the alfalfa field produces new growth or regrowth from alfalfa plant crowns. The new re-growth (or "untreated growth") is considered a new crop.

The Pesticide Use Enforcement Program Standards Compendium, Volume 8 (including reference to FAC 12832) will be updated to reflect DPR's guidance for interpreting section 24(c) SLN and section 3 product labeling that allow harvest of untreated alfalfa re-growth for hay, forage, or fodder in the following or subsequent growing year.

If you have any questions, please contact the Enforcement Branch Liaison assigned to your county.

Original Signature by:
Nan Gorder, Ph.D.
Chief, Enforcement Branch


cc:   Mr. Tom Babb, DPR Agricultural Commissioner Liaison
        Ms. Carol Hafner, Fresno Co. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer
        Dr. Shannon Mueller, Ph.D., Fresno Co., UCCE Farm Advisor
        Enforcement Branch Liaisons

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A Department of the California Environmental Protection Agency