Acetochlor Herbicide Stewardship – New York State

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Acetochlor herbicide products received registration approval in New York in February 2013 providing New York growers with a valuable new tool and an expanded array of options for weed control.  A chloroacetamide herbicide, acetochlor is already widely used across the United States for weed control in corn and is consistently effective for control of grasses and small-seeded broadleaf weeds.  It has been shown that acetochlor is very effective on velvetleaf, pigweed species, common ragweed, common lambsquarters, smartweed, and eastern black nightshade as compared to other chloroacetamide herbicides.   Acetochlor premixes now available in New York provide broad spectrum weed control and can play an important role in herbicide resistance management.

Integral to the New York State registration, the Acetochlor Registration Partnership (ARP) members Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences agreed to implement a product stewardship program to promote the responsible use of acetochlor products in New York State for protection of water resources.  Developed in coordination with Cornell University and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the educational outreach reinforces the general responsibility that users have for proper handling and application of pesticide products and for acetochlor products specifically.  It is expected that this initiative will contribute to the long-term sustainability of weed control options needed for production agriculture in New York.

The foundation of the Acetochlor Stewardship Program for New York is the development and communication of information which will reinforce the knowledge of farmers, dealers, distributors, and custom applicators for responsible use of acetochlor products.  Key elements include:  (1) Water Quality Best Management Practices for Acetochlor; (2) Acetochlor Stewardship Slide Deck; (3) Quick Reference Card for Label Requirements; and (4) Use of multiple methods and channels for communicating the information including the opportunity for obtaining continuing education credits.

Label Use Restrictions

While the Water Quality Best Management Practices for Acetochlor are a set of voluntary Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce the likelihood that acetochlor will impact water resources, an understanding of label use restrictions is important and is a point of emphasis with the program.  Label use restrictions are mandatory requirements and they summarized below.

Use restrictions common to all acetochlor-containing products:

  • Not for Sale, Sale into, Distribution and/or Use In Nassau and Suffolk Counties of New York State
  • New York State “Restricted Use” pesticide product is restricted in its purchase, distribution, sale, use and possession, and each product may only be purchased and used by a certified applicator.  In addition, any person that distributes, sells, offers for sale, purchases for the purpose of resale, or possess for the purpose of resale is required to have been issued a commercial permit. Atrazine-containing premixes are also Federal Restricted Use Products.
  • Do not apply directly to water, or to areas where surface water is present or to intertidal areas below the mean high water mark.
  • Do not flood irrigate to apply or incorporate.
  • Do not apply this product through any type of irrigation system, unless otherwise directed by approved supplemental labeling in possession of the user at the time of application.
  • Do not apply this product using aerial application equipment.
  • Product must be used in a manner which will prevent back-siphoning into wells, spills or improper disposal of excess pesticide, spray mixtures or rinsates.

Water Quality BMPs for Acetochlor

Water Quality Best Management Practices for Acetochlor work in conjunction with the “Core BMPS for All Agricultural Herbicides” currently available on Cornell’s Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) website.  They are provided as a series of voluntary options.  Producers, crop consultants, and extension specialists should select options most appropriate for a given farming operation, soil types and geography, tillage and cultivation practices, and irrigation and runoff management.

The BMP document lists each practice, describes its use along with the benefits of adopting that practice.  The BMPs are summarized here:

  1. Adopt the “Core BMPs for All Agricultural Herbicides” when applying acetochlor.
  2. Limit acetochlor applications to the lowest effective labeled rate.
  3. Maintain application setbacks from surface water, tile inlets, wells, and sinkholes as directed by product labeling.
  4. Maintain vegetative filter strips between areas where acetochlor is applied and points where field runoff enters surface water, tile inlets, and sinkholes.
  5. Adopt conservation tillage practices appropriate for your farm’s topography and in karst areas.
  6. Use precision application methods.

The Water Quality BMPs for Acetochlor are available at [].  Always read the product label.  Label use requirements are legally enforceable.

Acetochlor Products Registered in New York States (as of October 15, 2013):

Degree® Xtra, Harness®, Harness® Xtra, Harness® Xtra 5.6L, TripleFLEX® and Warrant® are registered trademarks of Monsanto Company

FulTime® NXT, Keystone®, Keystone® LA, Keystone® LA NXT, Keystone® NXT, SureStart®, Surpass® EC, Surpass® NXT are trademarks of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow

Additional Information

Additional information regarding the Acetochlor Stewardship Program is available on-line [], at,  or by contacting the Monsanto or Dow AgroSciences representative in your area.

Acetochlor products which also contain atrazine have label use restrictions driven by atrazine requirements.  Users must follow the most restrictive requirements on the product labels for applications.  The table below summarizes restrictions for atrazine-containing acetochlor products and compares them with acetochlor products not containing atrazine.

Label Use Restriction

For acetochlor products containing atrazine

For acetochlor products NOT containing atrazine

Use within 50 feet of any well, including abandoned wells, drainage wells, and sink holes. Not allowed On the following soil types, do not apply this product within 50 feet of any well where the depth to groundwater is 30 feet or less:  sands with less than 3% organic matter; loamy sands with less than 2% organic matter; or sandy loams with less than 1% organic matter.
Mixing, loading, rinsing, or washing of this product into or from pesticide handling or application equipment or containers within 50 feet of any wells, including abandoned wells, drainage wells, and sink holes without impervious containment. Not Allowed Not Allowed
Mixing or loading within 50 feet of perennial or intermittent streams, rivers, natural or impounded reservoirs. Not Allowed Not Allowed
66 foot application setback from points where field surface water enters perennial or intermittent streams or rivers.  If applied to highly-erodible land, the 66 foot buffer from runoff entry points must be planted to crop, seeded with grass, or other suitable crop. Required Not Required
200 foot application setback from all natural or impounded lakes and reservoirs. Required Not Required
Use restrictions in tile-outletted fields and terraced fields containing standpipes. Required.  See product labels for specifics. Not Required



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