January 24, 2011

New kit can help farmers reduce pesticide impact

Leo Horrigan, MHS

Leo Horrigan, MHS

CLF Correspondent

Center for a Livable Future

A Farmer Information Kit released recently by the Maryland Pesticide Network (MPN) seems to show that concern about the impacts of pesticides on our environment and health is becoming more widespread, judging by the organizations and disciplines that were part of the kit’s production.

The kit is a great resource for farmers who want to reduce their pesticide impact on the Bay but are searching for what MPN calls “economically and environmentally sound information on key issues related to pesticides.”

Produced as part of the Pesticides & the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Project – which was launched three years ago by MPN and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future – the information kit also draws upon expertise from organizations such as USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the University of Maryland Extension Service, IPM Institute of North America, and the Maryland Organic Farmers Association; as well as riverkeepers and watershed association officials. The participants were all part of an Agriculture Working Group.

The kit includes numerous fact sheets, which focus on:

➢ Pesticides and family health

➢ Conservation planning and crop management

➢ Impact of pesticides on the Bay watershed

➢ Information resources on Best Management Practices (BMPs), as well as BMPs specific to corn, soybeans and grain

➢ Economically and environmentally sound alternatives to pesticides

➢ The history of pesticides

Besides the online version, MPN has a limited supply of printed copies. If interested, send an email to mdpestnet@aol.com.

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