EPA Announces Revised Interim Decision on M-44s
This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a more protective interim decision on sodium cyanide, the compound used in M-44 devices to control certain wild predators, primarily coyotes, as part of the re-registration review process required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.
After a careful review of the available information and extensive engagement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, EPA is issuing a revised interim decision on sodium cyanide that includes new requirements to ensure continued safe use of the device. The agency’s new requirements enhance protections by adding increased distances for device placement.
“EPA appreciates the commitment from USDA to work with the agency to ensure that there are safe and effective tools for farmers and ranchers to protect livestock,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Alexandra Dunn. “Through our discussions, we identified new restrictions that will raise awareness and create additional buffers around where M-44s are placed, which will reduce the potential for unintended impacts on humans, pets and other non-target animals.”
“We rely on a variety of tools and techniques to meet our public service mission in the safest and most effective manner possible,” said Greg Ibach, under secretary for USDA’s marketing and regulatory programs mission area. “The M-44 plays an important role in achieving that mission by protecting livestock and threatened and endangered species and helping to stop the spread of disease. I appreciate EPA’s recognition of that role and consideration of our input throughout this process.”
“We sincerely appreciate USDA and EPA working together to ensure livestock producers have access to effective predator control, while also increasing public awareness and transparency,” said American Sheep Industry Association President Benny Cox. “Livestock producers face heavy losses from predators, amounting to more than $232 million in death losses annually. We are particularly vulnerable during lambing and calving, where we see the worst predation.”
“NASDA appreciates the EPA’s continued steps to prioritize public safety and support American ranchers, as the M-44 is an essential tool for guarding our nation’s livestock. NASDA members hold highly the responsibility of ensuring the viability of American ranches, therefore, improved guidelines for safety measures are always welcomed,” said National Association of State Departments of Agriculture CEO Dr. Barbara P. Glenn.
“M-44s are an important tool for livestock producers and we applaud Administrator (Andrew) Wheeler and his team at EPA working with USDA to ensure that ranchers maintain access to this predator control device,” said Public Lands Council President Bob Skinner.
EPA’s two new restrictions include:
- A 600-foot buffer around residences where M-44s cannot be applied (except for that of a cooperating landowner who has given written permission for placement of the devices on their property).
- Increasing from 100 feet to 300 feet the distance from designated public paths and roads where M-44s cannot be used.
In addition to further protect public health, the interim decision also expands upon Use Restriction 23 by requiring two elevated warning signs that face the two most likely directions of approach, within 15 feet of M-44 devices. Currently, only one sign is required, at a distance of 25 feet from the device.
All sodium cyanide products, which were first registered in 1947, are restricted-use pesticides and require users to be trained and certified. Only USDA, South Dakota, Texas, Montana, Wyoming and New Mexico hold registrations for sodium cyanide products and certified applicators are the only individuals who are permitted to use M-44 devices. The updated restrictions on device use, as well as device placement and location limitations, together with the stringent certification requirements for trained certified applicators of the product, all work in concert to prevent people who are not certified M-44 applicators from coming too near to these devices.
SheepCast Talks M-44s, ASI Convention
This week, the ASI SheepCast looks at the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement on additional label use restrictions for sodium cyanide as used in the M-44 device. ASI worked closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and EPA to ensure livestock producers have access to these critical predator control tools. The podcast also takes a look at the upcoming ASI Annual Convention, January 22-25 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
ASI Cost of Production Analysis Updated and Available Online
The American Sheep Industry Association has updated the U.S. Baseline Lamb Cost of Production Analysis, which offers updated baseline estimates regarding the on-farm/ranch costs of lamb production.
Outputs of the analysis include:
- A brief summary of available university-based cost of production budgets for sheep.
- Final spreadsheets showing analysis input assumptions, regional budgets and the national budget.
- A brief summary report describing the spreadsheets and the cost considerations included, and comments on how to annual update (data sources, etc.).
- Microsoft Excel budget files that can be manipulated by producers to show the effect of different revenue and cost inputs.
It needs to be recognized that each sheep producer’s operation is different, based on environment, production goals, breeding goals and year-to-year market conditions. While these budgets are meant to be representative, it is not appropriate to assume they have fully captured the risk that sheep producers face on a day-to-day basis. Instead, the majority of value these baseline budgets provide is the comparison year-to-year and through time, from a percent change standpoint instead of a point value perspective.
Deadline Extended for Wool Press Grants
The deadline to apply for the American Sheep Industry Association’s $5,000 Wool Press Grant Program – now in its second year – has been extended until Jan. 15. Applications already submitted will be reviewed and awarded this month. Applications submitted during the extended application period will be reviewed and awarded in late January.
ASI is looking to assist five shearers, warehouses or individuals with the purchase of a wool press in 2020. The grant recipients will cover the bulk of the costs associated with their purchase, but ASI seeks to assist as much as possible with the grant.
As freight costs are a significant expense to the American wool industry, the ASI Wool Council developed the program to incentivize the domestic production and purchase of wool presses. This project aims to encourage the use of presses that can be maintained and repaired in the United States, produce bales that are a standard size and emphasize the importance of proper wool bale weights to producers, shearers, warehouseman, pools and co-ops.
While assisting shearers and others directly, the program supports American sheep producers by allowing them to generate better returns on their wool clips. Producers will also benefit as the new presses will replace older presses that are prone to delay-causing breakdowns.
Recipients of the baler grants in the program’s first year ranged from small to large operations, and applications are once again encouraged from anyone within the American wool industry.
Grant recipients will be required to submit a final report – including photos or videos – and documentation that the baler meets all program requirements. Requirements include: the baler must be made in the United States, it must produce an average bale weight of between 400 and 500 pounds, produce a uniform bale size of 32 inches by 52 inches, and come equipped with all necessary safety features.
Australian Market Off for Third Straight Week
The Australian wool market continued to deteriorate, recording losses for the third consecutive sale this week. Better-style wools with favorable additional measurement results were least affected by the falling market – generally selling at levels 20 to 30 cents below those achieved in the previous week.
Lesser style wools, wools with poor additional measurements and those carrying higher levels of vegetable matter did not fare as well. Buyers continually discounted their price levels on these wools. By the end of the series, these types had generally fallen by 50 to 80 cents. The drop in these lesser types was the driving force behind the reduction in the individual Micron Price Guides, which fell by 26 to 72 cents across all three centers.
On the back of these losses, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator lost 38 cents for the series, closing the week at 1,492 Australian cents. The EMI has now fallen for seven consecutive selling days, losing a total of 105 cents during this period. When compared to the corresponding sale of the previous season, the EMI has dropped 357 cents – a fall of 19.3 percent.
Sellers across the country were reluctant to accept the reduced-price levels as the national passed in rate was 20.4 percent – up 6.2 percent on the previous series. The large number of passed in lots adds to the continually growing stockpile of wool being held in brokers’ stores.
The oddment sector was the only shining light in an otherwise dim market, managing to record minimal positive movements. This was reflected in the three regional carding indicators that rose by an average of just more than 2 cents. With only two selling weeks left before the annual three-week Christmas recess, quantities traditionally increase for the final two sales. This year is no different. The national quantity increases next week to 48,451 bales, with Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle all in operation.
- PRODUCER EDUCATION