The American Soybean Association (ASA) this week urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to add soybeans to a proposed registration of the pesticide sulfoxaflor and expressed several concerns with the label.

“Our experience in trying to manage soybean aphid, in particular, requires different modes of action and a commitment to insect resistance management. Sulfoxaflor is an important part of that strategy,” ASA states in the letter. “While it is has come under scrutiny for adverse effects on honeybees, in fact sulfoxaflor is a more pollinator-friendly product than other alternatives.”

ASA pointed out that the pesticide is better than its alternatives because it is non-toxic to fish and has low risk to mammals and birds.

“Sulfoxaflor fits well as a critical tool in Integrated Pest Management programs, replacing multiple applications of compounds with a higher risk to humans and/or non-target organisms,” the letter states. “Due to its unique chemistry and lack of cross-resistance to the neonicotinoid and other classes of insecticides, sulfoxaflor can be a valuable tool in managing pesticide resistance.”

ASA also expressed concerns that the proposed registration attempts to manage off-site risk to pollinators with a proposal to require a downwind 12-foot buffer, particularly that it would led to additional applications to control the pests that were not sprayed in an initial application.

“Finally, the proposed registration asks for comment on restricting tank mixes. ASA opposes restrictions on tank mixing for the many reasons EPA acknowledges in the registration documents,” the letter states.

Click here to read the entire letter.