From: Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
Use of Isoxaflutole
Pesticides in Wisconsin
Pesticides containing the active ingredient isoxaflutole will
not be sold in Wisconsin in 2003.
The need to protect Wisconsin’s water resources led the
Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to
require special restrictions and conditions if the corn herbicide,
Balance Pro, was to be used in Wisconsin. Because of the added
environmental requirements, Bayer CropScience, the pesticide
manufacturer, has decided not to distribute the product in Wisconsin
In 2002, the department decided that Balance Pro herbicide
could be registered for use in Wisconsin for the 2003 growing
season. However, Bayer CropScience, (formerly
Aventis CropScience) the manufacturer of the herbicide,
had to agree and comply with a number of restrictions and requirements
before Balance Pro could be distributed, sold or used in Wisconsin.
Following a review of Wisconsin’s order issued for the
product that detailed the added restrictions and requirements,
Bayer CropScience declined the opportunity to register the product
Release (Dec 27, 2002) - [also listed below]
Evaluating the potential use of isoxaflutole in Wisconsin required
the development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) outlining
the potential benefits as well as environmental, social and
economic impacts of its use. Water Quality section staff prepared
an EIS, held public hearings and convened an advisory group
to look at this issue. Based on the comments received and input
from the advisory group, DATCP determined that additional use
restrictions and monitoring specific to Wisconsin are required
to minimize the risks associated with the use of isoxaflutole.
Additional Use Restrictions
The additional use restrictions to be included on each label
of product sold for use in Wisconsin include:
• Isoxaflutole may not be used in eight counties (Adams,
Juneau, Langlade, Marathon, Portage, Waupaca, Waushara and
Wood) and the lower Wisconsin River Valley which have proven
susceptible to groundwater contamination.
• Isoxaflutole may not be used on coarse soils with
low organic matter, less than 25 feet to groundwater.
• Isoxaflutole use under irrigation requires an irrigation
• Isoxaflutole may not be applied before April 15th
or after July 31st of any crop year.
• No use of isoxaflutole will be allowed on tile-drained
In addition to the restrictions on the use of isoxaflutole,
DATCP will require environmental monitoring and use reporting
to ensure that the restrictions adequately protect other crops
and the environment. The additional requirements are:
• Groundwater monitoring with DATCP suspending use
based on a single confirmed groundwater detection of isoxaflutole
above 310 parts per trillion.
• Four surface water monitoring systems must be established
and sampled in Wisconsin.
• All uses of isoxaflutole must be reported to the department.
Isoxaflutole Use Nationwide
Isoxaflutole is currently used in 18 states.
It has been used under a conditional registration from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency since 1999. A conditional registration
was issued by EPA because of data indicated that use may result
in possible water contamination and effects on non-target plants,
including vegetable crops. Because of these concerns, Wisconsin,
Minnesota, and Michigan have not agreed to allow use of isoxaflutole
up to this point.
You will need a PDF viewer for the following documents.
Impact Statement - 85 page PDF - August 2002
Copies of the final EIS are also available from public libraries,
county extension offices, county land conservation departments,
and the department.
Local Need Finding - 2 page PDF - November 8, 2002
The determination that a special local need exists in Wisconsin
for the pesticide isoxaflutole.
Special Local Needs Registration with Conditions
- 9 page PDF - 2002
A legal document that contains the requirements and restrictions
to be met in order to register isoxaflutole-containing products
for use in Wisconsin.
Group - 2 page PDF
Included grower representatives, environmental groups, water
quality specialists, health specialists, weed scientists, and
the product manufacturer.
For more information on isoxaflutole or other groundwater issues,
contact Jim Vanden Brook at 608-224-4501 or send an email .
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
December 27, 2002
Balance Pro Herbicide Will Not be Sold
In Wisconsin in 2003
Contact: Jane Larson
MADISON--The need to protect Wisconsin's water resources led
the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
to require special restrictions and conditions if a new corn
herbicide was to be used in Wisconsin. Because of the added
environmental requirements, Bayer CropScience, the manufacturer
of Balance Pro herbicide, has decided not to distribute the
product in Wisconsin in 2003.
In 1999, the state agriculture department first made the decision
that pesticides containing the active ingredient isoxaflutole
(eye-SOX-a-flew-tall) could not be used in Wisconsin. This decision
was based on information from the federal Environmental Protection
Agency that this compound, used to control weeds in corn, could
contaminate surface water and groundwater, accumulate in the
environment and potentially damage irrigated vegetable crops
and other non-target plants.
"In early 2002, the department was again asked to allow
the registration and sale of Balance Pro herbicide in Wisconsin.
We assembled an advisory committee, prepared a draft environmental
impact statement that assessed the risks and benefits of the
product, and offered it for public comment," explained
Jim Vanden Brook, water quality section chief.
"Our final decision was that Balance Pro could be used
in Wisconsin but only with additional product restrictions,"
Vanden Brook said. "These restrictions were necessary to
protect our resources in Wisconsin. We based our decision on
comments from the advisory committee, other interested parties
and the EPA."
The restrictions include:
• Prohibiting use in eight Wisconsin counties and the
Lower Wisconsin River Valley, totaling about 1 million acres.
• Prohibiting use on other fields determined to be
more susceptible to groundwater contamination due to soil
characteristics and shallow depth to the groundwater.
• Prohibiting use in tile-drained fields, where studies
indicate residues of the compound and its breakdown product
are likely to move to the tile and subsequently enter surface
• Environmental monitoring of surface water and groundwater
in areas where Balance Pro is applied.
Bayer CropScience stated in a letter to the department that
the company had concerns about the additional restrictions and
considered them unreasonable. Bayer declined the opportunity
to register the product for use in Wisconsin. Balance Pro is
currently available in 18 other states.
"The added requirements carried a cost for Bayer CropScience,"
Vanden Brook explained. "This would include one time installation
costs for surface water monitoring stations and groundwater
monitoring wells which we estimate at $100,000. In addition,
there would be annual costs for sampling, laboratory analysis
as well as payments to farmers for access to the monitoring
wells." Vanden Brook added, "We recognized that Balance
Pro would provide another weed control tool for corn growers,
but the restrictions and conditions were needed to protect all
of Wisconsin agriculture and our natural resources."