The anxiously awaited draft environmental impact statement (EIS) on Roundup Ready alfalfa will be published in late spring or early summer, reports Andrea Huberty of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

“We're working very, very hard,” said Huberty, EIS project coordinator, at the recent Midwest Forage Association symposium. “This is something all of us at APHIS want to get out, but we also want to get it out right the first time.”

Following publication, there will be a 60-day public comment period, then a significant amount of time will be needed to prepare a final EIS, she said. Alfalfa seed marketers hope it will be done in time for Roundup Ready alfalfa to be deregulated prior to the spring 2010 planting season.

The draft EIS will be posted, and comments solicited, at www.regulations.gov.