EPA Region 7 has issued an order to HPI Products, Inc., of St. Joseph, Mo., directing the company to immediately halt the sale or distribution of its supplies of Warthog 2 EC, following reports that a tainted batch of the herbicide distributed by the company damaged 8,000 acres of soybeans near Beattie, Kan.
Under the authority of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), similar Stop Sale, Use or Removal Orders (SSUROs) have also been issued by EPA to the pesticide’s registrant, J. Oliver Products, LLC, of Hernando, Miss.; and to Pony Express Warehouse, in St. Joseph, Mo., which received distribution of the product from HPI Products.
During the week of July 12, the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) responded to multiple complaints from farmers near Beattie, Kan. The farmers indicated their soybean crops sustained damage from the recent use of Warthog 2 EC that was purchased from Frontier Chemical, Inc., a dealership in Beattie. KDA then conducted an inspection of Frontier Chemical to collect records and product samples.
On July 20, the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) conducted an inspection of HPI Products, 317 West Florence Road, in St. Joseph, to collect sales records and samples of Warthog 2 EC. Further investigation showed that samples of Warthog 2 EC taken from stocks at HPI Products appeared to be tainted with another herbicide, Dicamba.
Warthog 2 EC is commonly used to control annual and perennial grasses among a wide range of field crops, including soybeans, according to the National Pesticide Information Center. Dicamba is used to control broadleaf weeds in a variety of settings, and can be harmful to soybeans and other legumes.
KDA has placed a state SSURO on Warthog 2 EC at Frontier Chemical in Beattie, Kan.; and the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) has placed its own SSURO on the product at J. Oliver Products, LLC, in Hernando, Miss.
EPA has encouraged J. Oliver Products to consider issuing a broad recall of any quantities of the product that it may have already distributed.