Status of Chateau Label in Indiana

The herbicide Chateau SW® is labeled for several vegetable crops including asparagus, mint, onion, and sweet potato. Recently, several growers asked Purdue University whether this product could be labeled in Indiana for cucurbit production. The answer is that Chateau® is not and will not be labeled for Indiana cucurbit production. We want to use this opportunity to explain why Chateau® will not be available for use by cucurbit growers in Indiana.

The reason that the product Chateau® came to the attention of cucurbit growers in Indiana is that in other states Chateau® is available for use. These states include Florida and Georgia. The manner is which Chateau® is labeled in these other states is via third party indemnification. That is, the company that registers Chateau® makes an agreement with a grower’s organization in that state to limit liability for the registrant, Valent U.S.A. Valent U.S.A. has stated that they will not register Chateau® in Indiana without a third party indemnification. Again, this is to limit the liability of Valent U.S.A.

However, the Indiana State Chemist will not allow the third party indemnification of Chateau® or any other product. They point to language on the U.S. EPA website that prohibits the use of agreements requiring ‘…a grower, as a condition of lawful use of a product, to waive any right he or she may have to bring a civil action against the applicant’. The text goes on to say that ‘The FIFRA enforcement scheme should not be used…as a means of enforcing private agreements regarding product liability.’ The entire text of the website may be found linked below. https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/guidance-fifra-24c-registrations#addendum

The crux of the matter is the interpretation of the U.S. EPA ruling. The Indiana State Chemist interprets the ruling as prohibiting third party indemnification. Other states interpret the ruling differently. The unfortunate result is that Chateau® is labeled in some states, but not in Indiana.

Purdue University will continue to work with vegetable growers to manage their pest problems, including weeds. However, Chateau SW® is not labeled and is not an option for weed control in Indiana on cucurbit crops.

Growers with questions about weed management should contact Steve Weller (weller@purdue.edu) or Liz Maynard (emaynard@purdue.edu). Questions about the status of Chateau® registration in Indiana should be addressed to Steve Weller or Dan Egel.

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