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Maine Potato Growers Might Need To Reduce Use Of Common Pesticide

A crop specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension is informing the state's potato farmers that they might need to reduce use of a widely used pesticide that controls blight.

Steven Johnson says national and international changes in the regulation of a fungicide called chlorothalonil could prompt the changes. He says growers might consider moving to newer kinds of chemicals.

The Bangor Daily News reports chlorothalonil has been used extensively in the farming of potatoes and other crops since the 1970s. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers it a "likely human carcinogen" and has attempted to reduce its use.

The European Union banned the pesticide in March, and Canada has reduced the amount that can be used during the growing season.

EPA review's expected next year.