Wheat growers and other member of the Washington Ag Community are closely watching a Senate Bill in Olympia that opponents say would put an undue burden on the farming community. SB 6529 would require a pesticide user to provide written notice of an intended pesticide application to the state Department of Health, four business days in advance, and the DOH would then be responsible for notifying adjacent property owners. Michelle Hennings with the Washington Association of Wheat Growers said the WSDA and L&I already regulate pesticide application.
“This bill adds a third regulatory agency. It also requires nearly every licensed applicator to submit all records to the Department of Health every month. They would also be posted on-line in a searchable database. To have all licensed applicators to submit all records to the Department of Health would be very tedious and also expensive.”
Hennings told the Washington Ag Network this could impact not only wheat growers, but the tree fruit industry, livestock and really all of agriculture. She said the farming community needs to write to Olympia to educate lawmakers.
“Write to the Committee members and the work group and just keep on them on how farmers are good stewards of their land with the technology we have now, we barely put anything, especially wheat farmers, anything on to the crop, it’s very minimal. It’s just a few drops per a hundred gallons of water.”
Hennings fears if Senate Bill 6529 is approved, growers could see fines starting around $7,000.
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