Read your pesticide labels: Endangered species edition

May 26, 2020 11:03 AM
Blog Post

While all applicators should carefully read their pesticide labels, newer products like the dicamba products labeled for use over-the-top use in soybean have many more application restrictions and recordkeeping requirements than others. This blog will describe the new language in the ‘Environmental Hazards’ section of some pesticide labels and how to determine if additional application restrictions exist due to the presence of endangered species.

Pesticide labels have always included language for the protection of non-target organisms like bees, fish, and other organisms in the section labeled ‘Environmental Hazards’, but some new product labels contain updated language in the ‘Environmental Hazards’ section for endangered species. An excerpt from one label can be seen below.

“Endangered Species Concerns

Use of this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling may pose a hazard to endangered or threatened species. When using this product, you must follow the measures contained in the Endangered Species Protection Bulletin for the area in which you are applying the product. To obtain Bulletins, no more than six months before using this product, consult or call 1-844-447-3813. You must use the Bulletin valid for the month in which you will apply the product. It is a Federal offense to use any pesticide in a manner that results in the death of an endangered species.”

Applicators can read pesticide labels for the products they plan to apply by referencing product manufacturer websites,, or We have a tutorial for finding pesticide labels on CDMS or Greenbook available here. Individual product labels will vary and, at this time (May 2020), only a select few include language requiring consultation of this EPA website.

We have heard that the phone number is not exactly a convenient way to access the information for the Endangered Species Bulletins, so applicators may prefer to access and print Bulletins for their records directly from the website. Some web browsers seem to have trouble accessing the map and downloadable Bulletins, so we advise trying a different browser if you have trouble with one. Instructions for accessing these Bulletins is below.

  1. Go to and scroll down to click the “Bulletins Live! Two” link in the center of the page (Figure 1).
  2. On the Endangered Species Protection Bulletins webpage, you can access the application, as well as tutorials and quick start guides. Click “Obtain Bulletins using EPA’s Bulletins Live! Two application” to access Bulletins for your area.
  3. Once you’ve accessed the application, you can input the address or location of the field you plan to apply the product in the upper righthand corner of the map. We selected Hardin County as the location for this example as Iowa restrictions are on a county-by-county basis (Figure 2).
    1. Click the red square in the center of your chosen area to select it.
  4. You will need to follow instructions on the page and input:
    1. Application month for the product, and
    2. Product name or registration number (Figure 3).
  5. Alternatively, you can search for a product active ingredient using the dropdown menu.
  6. Once you click the “Search” button at the bottom of the instruction page, the site will bring up the results page.
    1. If you do not have any limitations within your selected area, it will provide a pop-up box in the center of the site where you can click to download the Bulletin.  
    2. If limitations exist within your selected area, the website will move to the results page with information about limitations (Figure 4). At the bottom of the results page is an option to download the printable Bulletin.

Most counties in Iowa currently have no additional restrictions beyond the label for pesticide applications, but several counties in north central and northeast Iowa will have additional restrictions listed on the Bulletin. Regardless of whether your area has restrictions, the label requires that applicators access the Bulletin prior to applying the product and we highly suggest printing the Bulletin to keep for your records. Please reach out to your local Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Field Agronomist if you need assistance.

EPA Endangered Species with link to Bulletins Live! Two in red box
Figure 1. Click Bulletins Live! Two on the EPA Endangered Species homepage to access the Bulletins website. Website screenshot from May 20, 2020.

View of the Bulletins Live! Two application with Hardin County highlighted
Figure 2. View of the Bulletins Live! Two application with instructions on right side of page and map on left. Type the field location in the search bar to zoom in on the map. Website screenshot from May 20, 2020.

Applicators need to fill in instructions page and click search to bring up restrictions
Figure 3. Input the application month for the product and the product name or registration number. Click ‘Search’ to bring up the Printable Bulletin. Website screenshot from May 20, 2020.

EPA Endangered Species restrictions for Xtendimax in Hardin County

Figure 4. This table summarizes the Pesticide Use Limitations for Xtendimax in Hardin County, Iowa. Applicators can download the printable Bulletin to keep for their records. Website screenshot from May 26, 2020.


Meaghan Anderson Field Agronomist in Central Iowa

Meaghan Anderson is a field agronomist in central Iowa and an extension field specialist at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Educational programming is available for farmers, agribusinesses, pesticide applicators, certified crop advisors, and other individuals interested in...