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Crop producers warned to avoid pesticide residues on alternative feeds

PINE BLUFF – Livestock producers will be looking for alternative feeds because of the drought and its effect upon pastures, says Dr. David Fernandez, livestock specialist with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Cooperative Extension Program.

“This creates a market for crop residues,” says Dr. Fernandez, “but row crop farmers must plan their disease and pest control spraying with livestock in mind.”

Many pesticides, herbicides and fungicides are not approved for use in livestock feeds. For example, peanut farmers may use Asana XL or Karate to treat for cutworms, thrips, potato leaf hoppers or other pests. However, feeding vines treated with these pesticides is not an approved use. Nor can soybean crop residues treated with Larvin (thiodicarb (R)) be fed to cattle, says Fernandez.

In some cases, a pesticide approved for use in livestock feeds may have a different minimum number of days from last application to harvest when used as hay or fodder. Dr. Fernandez cites the example of Mustang Max/Respect (ζ-cypermethrin 0.8 EC (R)) which can be applied to grain sorghum 14 days before grain harvest and livestock can be allowed to graze the residue at that time. “But, if you harvest the residue for use as fodder, you must wait 45 days after the last application to harvest for fodder,” says Fernandez.

Many herbicides used in soybean production, including Assure II, Broadstrike +Dual or Treflan, Python, Canopy, Classic, Cobra, Outlook and Paraquat, are not approved for use on fields that will be used for grazing, hay or fodder production for livestock. Others can be used, but last application dates must be observed. Small grain producers should check labels for last application dates.

Dr. Fernandez cautions crop producers that if found in violation of state and federal pesticide and animal feed laws, they could be subject to civil and criminal penalties if they sell contaminated crop residues to livestock producers. They could also be liable for damages to livestock producers’ animals or losses incurred as a result of residues found in their animals’ carcasses at slaughter. “This is easy to avoid with a little planning,” says Fernandez.

Crop producers can check current recommendations for pesticide use by contacting their local Extension office. They can look up information in MP 154, “Arkansas Plant Disease Control Products Guide;” MP 144, “Insecticide Recommendations for Arkansas;” and MP 44, “Recommended Chemicals for Weed and Brush Control.” Published by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, these publications are available on the web at aragriculture.org. and click on the Publications link. The Arkansas State Plant Board is responsible for pesticide enforcement in Arkansas and can be found on the web at www.plantboard.arkansas.gov.