Idaho bean growers want old herbicide back

The discontinued product is used to control the weed nightshade.


The Idaho Bean Commission has asked Gowan, a crop-protection products company, to rerelease Eptam 20g.

Idaho bean producers have told the commission that nightshade is a growing concern that creates significant yield reduction, staining, harvesting and sanitary issues.

It's estimated that growers spend an average of $4.6 million each year on chemical control of weeds. The loss in revenue due to nightshade competition, damage to beans, and docking at the warehouse is estimated at $2 million to $6 million annually.

Hand-weeding crews cost up to $250 per acre.

Some fields are a complete loss if the nightshade is too thick and prevents harvest.

Finding efficient and cost-effective means to control both nightshade and nutsedge has been a challenge since Eptam 20g was discontinued in 2008. While liquid Eptam is available and often used as a preplant treatment, this leaves a gap in coverage that the granular 20G product would fill.

To get the product manufactured and distributed, Gowan needs a firm commitment from growers, the commission said. The commission is encouraging bean growers to contact their ag chemical suppliers to express their desire for the product.

A meeting with Gowan and agricultural chemical distributors is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 9, at the University of Idaho Business and Technology Incubator in Caldwell. A video link will be provided for growers, dealers and other interested people at the Research and Extension Center in Kimberly.

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service