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EPA issues emergency exemption to corn growers

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Lester Spell announced approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of an emergency exemption that will provide protection to corn producers throughout the state from blackbird predation of newly planted corn.

Mississippi corn growers throughout the state have suffered million dollar losses in recent years due to heavy blackbird predation, according to the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce.

The products receiving emergency exemption under Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) are Avipel Liquid Seed Treatment and Avipel Hopper Box Corn Seed Treatment manufactured by Arkion Life Sciences, LLC. Corn producers may treat corn seed with Avipel prior to planting to prevent blackbirds and from consuming the seed.

Avipel contains the active ingredient anthraquinone, which occurs naturally in some plants, fungi and insects. As a bird repellant, anthraquinone works as a taste deterrent.

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