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Popular farm insecticide faces ban

BISMARCK  -- A popular insecticide could be banned for agricultural use.

Last week, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to revoke all food tolerances and cancel all registrations for  chlorpyrifos within 60 days.

“Chlorpyrifos is one of the most widely used insecticides both in North Dakota and around the world,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said in a statement. “This decision will have a big effect on producers.”

Chlorpyrifos is in common products such as Lorsban, Dursban and Cobalt. Agriculture Department staff are watching for an appeal of last week's decision.

“In the meantime, producers should consult with their local agronomists or chemical representatives to find an acceptable alternative to use instead of chlorpyrifos," Goehring said.

In April 2017, the EPA ruled that an agricultural ban on the product was not warranted. It is already banned for residential use. Environmental groups sued and the court ruling last week reverses the EPA’s decision.