Out of the Fields


State agriculture officials moved in the right direction to protect unsuspecting eagles and other birds when it declared that the state will require farmers this spring to bury the pesticide Furadan underground with their plantings instead of spreading it on top of the soil.

Still, environmental groups want bolder moves. Furadan was traced to bald eagle deaths in 1988 and the poisoning of other birds. The incidents, caused by the misuse of Furadan by farmers planting corn, have resulted in citations and penalties.

The Environmental Protection Agency has considered for too long a recommendation to ban Furadan. Now that Maryland has joined Virginia in restricting use of the chemical, perhaps the EPA will act to take it out of the field altogether.

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