Growers Face New Constraints
Food Quality Protection Act changes growers' options, but the IPM Program can help
The Challenge. For a moment picture yourself as a carpenter who has just seen someone take away a number of his tools, yet he is expected to complete the job he agreed to do without having the tools replaced. This is the situation the agricultural producers of New York may face in the coming years due in part to the Food Quality Protection Act. While parties on all sides of the pesticide use issue agreed to passage of this legislation, the outcome may severely constrain agricultural producers. Add to that the fact that federal funds to address the outcome of the FQPA have been earmarked primarily for the cost of regulations associated with the Act, and you might be able to gain an appreciation for what lies ahead.
There is no question that the implementation of the FQPA will mean a significant departure from business as usual for most of the state's agricultural producers. Pesticide availability for most New York crops will be threatened.
A Source of Help. One place producers can turn to for help is the New York State IPM Program. For a dozen years the Program has been adding to the IPM toolbox. It has uncovered alternatives to synthetic pesticides and then fitted them into agricultural systems while maintaining system profitability. It has conducted demonstrations for farmers and growers, to help them gain confidence in these new methods. Finally, the Program has informed the public about how farmers in the state are responding to societal concern over pesticides. This long history of IPM work will serve growers well in this time when conventional options are diminishing.