I recently attended From Field to Fashion a cotton meeting hosted by Levi-Strauss in San Francisco
PLOWING THE INTERNET
National Agricultural Statistics Service has released a report on
the use of restricted-use pesticides in 1996 and 1997.
The USDA Ag Marketing Service has released the latest data concerning pesticide residues on food
The FDA established a Web site to help you find information about food safety
A source for pressure rinse nozzles to clean pesticide containers.
EPA restored the tolerances for cryolite on apricots, blackberries,
boysenberries, dewberries, kale, loganberries, nectarines, and
The EPA amended the terms of the cyanazine phase-out
new indoor trap captured nearly 100% of lady beetles
Georgia farmers can use Poast herbicide to control weeds in tobacco according to a new Special Need Registration
A county extension agent submitted this advice comparing the conventional way of controlling termites with new products
The new edition of Food and Feed Crops of the United States is available
USDA scientists are combining an insect virus with feeding stimulants to improve efficacy
The first effective lure for yellowjackets and wasps may be on the market within a year; it is the first to attract most of the aggressive yellowjackets and wasps
The EPA has granted Florida an emergency exemption to use coumaphos strips to control Varroa mites and small hive beetle
Funding Alert! IR-4 has funds for efficacy testing of advanced stage biopesticides
National Corn Growers Association
announced an in-principle agreement that will attempt to prevent insect
resistance to corn into which a Bacillus thuringiensis gene has been
The U.S. market for genetically engineered products is projected to reach nearly $3 billion by 2002.
The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, a coalition of environmental groups, and farmers are suing EPA for allowing t widespread use of Bt crops
HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT
new USDA Pesticide Data Program
report indicates that 43% of the fruit/vegetable samples had no detectable
According to researchers at the American Association for Advancement of Science annual meeting, excess fertilizer from the U.S. Corn Belt contributes to a 7,000 square mile 'dead zone' in the Gulf of Mexico
France has withdrawn the provisional label for Gaucho (imidacloprid) over possible adverse effects on honeybees
has asked EPA to phase out and cancel isofenphos
The following products will be canceled unless the request is withdrawn by 7-26-99.
The following uses will be deleted from these pesticide products
We did not carry a section on the Food Quality Protection Act this month, but next month's issue will be packed with FQPA. The EPA, USDA, and others are starting to evaluate the big boys. Soon, we will be reviewing pesticides like azinphos-methyl. Stay tuned, and help me when you can. Many of you know more about certain pesticides than I do, so I will need your expertise.
I recently attended From Field to Fashion, a cotton meeting hosted by Levi-Strauss in San Francisco. It seems that manufacturers of cotton products want to be more involved in the 'environmentally-conscious' production of cotton. As you might expect, the meeting had quite a bit of organic advocacy. However, it was valuable for me to talk with people whose viewpoints and background are very different from mine. Even if we do not agree, it is important for us to understand each other.
I went to the meeting because I wanted the manufacturers to understand that cotton production is not necessarily one extreme (heavy pesticide use) or the other (100% organic production). Georgia cotton offers some unique advantages. Thanks to boll weevil eradication and Bt cotton, up to one-third of our 1.4 million cotton acres may not be sprayed with any foliar insecticide. The acreage that is sprayed now receives three or less applications compared with the 10-15 sprays we applied in the 'old days'. Additionally, Georgia can provide a large supply of cotton to big manufacturers. If a big company like Levi-Strauss wanted to 'go organic', there simply would not be enough cotton to satisfy their needs.
Some people (perhaps many) will not accept any form of genetically engineered products. During the Monsanto lecture (Monsanto has Bt cotton), a small group of people marched in chanting against biotechnology and announcing they would rather go naked (and we are better off if they don't) than wear genetically engineered cotton. A panel of organic cotton growers indicated that they would not employ any kind of genetic engineering, even if it had nothing to do with pest management. I wonder if any of the foliar Bt used on organic cotton is genetically transformed. The anti-biotechnology movement is much stronger in Europe, a major U.S. market.
The speed of change may be a driving force in the anti-biotech backlash. In just a few short seasons, biotechnology has moved from the laboratory and into the lives of almost everyone. Within a few more years, nearly every food product may contain some component that has been genetically engineered. Change is stressful for everyone, and this type of rapid change worries many people. Everyone needs time to become comfortable with new technologies. There are still many people who prefer typewriters to 'them new-fangled' computers.
New technology should be handled cautiously and introduced with a clear view of long-term implications. By looking ahead a few years as we developed and introduced computers, we could have saved billions of dollars because there would be no Y2K problem. To employ biotechnology without careful deliberation is foolish, but it is equally foolish to preclude the tremendous benefits of biotechnology simply because it is new.
I also picked up other useful tidbits from the San Francisco meeting. According to a nationwide industry survey, approximately ½ of the respondents did not know that cotton came from a farm. From a member survey of 'Mothers and Others', the USDA and EPA are only slightly more trustworthy than television for information about pesticide risks. In spite of organic 'advantages', price remains the biggest factor in consumer choice. Unless the market changes, organic products will never be a major player and command a premium price. Without that premium, organic production may not be economically feasible in many areas.
Another survey indicated that many people do not really understand what 'organic' means. The value of 'organic' to manufacturers and retailers is primarily for marketing. Many people associate 'organic' with 'more natural' and inherently better. As a result, look for more manufacturers to use organic blends. They can combine organic cotton with conventionally-grown cotton and receive the marketing benefits without the burden of maintaining separate processes for 'regular' and 'organic' products. This idea may not be a poor compromise. Organic producers would have a bigger market; retailers would receive marketing advantages; and consumers would feel better about the products they buy.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service has released a report on the use of restricted-use pesticides in 1996 and 1997. http://www.usda.gov/nass/
The USDA Ag Marketing Service has released the latest data concerning pesticide residues on food. You can either order one (703-330-2300) or hit the Web.
The FDA established a Web site to help you find information about food safety.
A source for pressure rinse nozzles to clean pesticide containers. I have seen the products; they look good. However, I don't know how the price compares with prices of similar products.
PestWeb: information for Pest Control Operators. Links to IPM, MSDS, labels, etc.
The EPA restored the tolerances for cryolite on apricots, blackberries, boysenberries, dewberries, kale, loganberries, nectarines, and youngberries. The revocations were withdrawn because comments from Gowan Company were not addressed; apparently their comments were left out of the EPA docket. The EPA did not realize that Gowan and IR-4 planned to support the listed commodities.
Tolerances are not being supported for apples, beans, beet tops, carrots, corn, mustard greens, okra, peanuts, pears, peas, quince, radish tops, rutabaga tops, and turnip tops. The revocation of these tolerances became effective 1-25-99. (RNN, 2-10-99)
The EPA amended the terms of the cyanazine phase-out. The Agency will permit a maximum use rate of 3.0 lb/acre in 1999 instead of 1.0 lb/acre in the original agreement. The alteration was allowed in response to special weather conditions. The amendment will not alter the final phase-out date of 12-31-02. (FR, 1-22-99)
A new indoor trap captured nearly 100% of lady beetles. In many areas, lady beetles become a pest as they move indoors to hibernate for the winter. I have seen the beetles move into my mother's house and garage by the thousands. The beetles pose no health risk, and they will not infest any household stores. However, thousands of beetles can be annoying even for the mother of an entomologist.
Until now, there was very little the extension service could recommend. The application of insecticide would simply change the situation from thousands of live beetles to thousands of dead beetles plus the insecticide risk.
The small trap (12" X 24") attracts the beetles with a black light and holds them in a bag. The beetles are not killed; they can be released or perhaps saved for garden release in the Spring.
The USDA is searching for a cooperating company to develop the technology into a commercial product. Look for them in stores within the year. (USDA news release, 12-29-99)
Georgia farmers can use Poast herbicide to control weeds in tobacco according to a new Special Need Registration. It may be applied at a maximum rate of 4 pints/acre per season. Contact the Georgia Department of Agriculture for more information (404-656-4958)
A county extension agent submitted this advice comparing the conventional way of controlling termites with new products. (Thanks to Keith Fielder of Putnam County.) Conventional treatments create a toxic barrier between the termites and your home with insecticides. The insecticides are used to drench the soil around or under your house. New bait technologies establish monitoring stations around your home with wood or cardboard. When the termites are seen at the monitoring stations, the wood is replaced with bait that contains a chemical that slowly kills the termites. In theory, the termites take the poison back to the nest, and the entire colony is eliminated.
However, nothing is ever as good as it appears. The FTC is prosecuting one company for making false claims regarding their termite bait. As with any expensive and important product, consider the product carefully before you buy it. Specifically, what does the company guarantee, and what will they do if the product does not work?
|Control is faster than with baits||Homeowner application not recommended|
|Generally long-lasting (5 years or more)||Associated odor may last several weeks|
|Long history of effectiveness||Requires drilling of masonry slab/masonry|
|More potential for environmental contamination|
|Does not directly affect termite colony|
|No odor||Termites may find your house instead of bait|
|Less risk of environmental contamination||Bait may become unattractive|
|Attempts to eliminate termite colony||Termites dying near bait station may repel others|
|No drilling required||Require frequent monitoring|
|Very low toxicity to man/animals||Overmonitoring may impair bait attractiveness|
|Another termite colony may move into area as original colony declines|
|The absence of termites at bait stations may cause a sense of false security. Remember that termites may find your home before they find the bait stations!|
In the meantime, follow these guidelines to protect your home against termites.
The new edition of Food and Feed Crops of the United States is available. It contains information about every food/feed crop you can think of and many that you cannot imagine. In addition to basic information about the commodities, the book offers valuable information on EPA crop groupings, Codex groupings, EPA test residue regions, etc. Visit their Web site for more details.
USDA scientists are combining an insect virus with feeding stimulants to improve efficacy. Adding a mixture of cottonseed oil, sugar, etc. with Anagrapha falcifera NPV improved effectiveness by 50% against caterpillars attacking collards. The virus poses no threat to humans or other nontargets. For more information, contact Robert Farrar (email@example.com) (Ag. Research, 2-99)
The first effective lure for yellowjackets and wasps may be on the market within a year; it is the first to attract most of the aggressive yellowjackets and wasps. Other baits made with sugars or meats either attracted too many nontargets (e.g., honeybees) or spoiled too quickly. The new lure uses compounds produced by bacteria and fungi as they consume sugars.
The EPA has granted Florida an emergency exemption to use coumaphos strips to control Varroa mites and small hive beetle. This exemption is ONLY for Florida at this time. Other states are likely to apply for similar exemptions. If you are allowed to use coumaphos, use it VERY carefully. Coumaphos has an affinity for beeswax, and any detection is likely to result in cancellation of any exemption(s). (APIS, 1-99)
Funding Alert! IR-4 has funds for efficacy testing of advanced stage biopesticides. The deadline for proposals is April 1.
If you want a copy of the forms, call 732-932-9575.
The National Corn Growers Association announced an in-principle agreement that will attempt to prevent insect resistance to corn into which a Bacillus thuringiensis gene has been inserted. Here are the basic parameters of the plan:
All of the big players in corn seed production are involved. Some details remain for discussion with EPA, the corn growers, and the seed companies, but the deal is nearly final. Visit http://www.ncga.com/ for more information.
I am watching the Bt resistance plans with great interest. Resistance is a difficult phenomenon to manage, and three of the target insects for Bt crops (Colorado potato beetle, corn rootworm, and tobacco budworm) have a history or resistance. It would be surprising if none of these insects became resistant to current Bt technology.
Sociological issues also complicate matters. While at EPA, we occasionally enquired about resistance management plans for various insecticides. Everyone had a resistance management plan that involved rotating among various classes of chemicals. However, sales information showed that everyone was buying the same insecticide over and over. If anyone was rotating another class of chemical, they must have been making it at home.
The U.S. market for genetically engineered products is projected to reach nearly $3 billion by 2002. According to the Freedonia Group, Inc., transgenic seeds and plants will account for 70% of the demand. Pest resistance and consumer backlash against genetically engineered crops could alter the projection. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 2-4-99)
At a recent meeting in San Francisco, I asked the Monsanto spokesman how long they expected current Bt technology to last in cotton before resistance became a problem. He would not (or could not) provide an answer. I find it difficult to believe that Monsanto scientists have not considered this question.
The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, a coalition of environmental groups, and farmers are suing EPA for allowing the widespread use of Bt crops. The suit contains three primary claims. 1) EPA should never have registered Bt crops because of the threat of unreasonable adverse effects to the environment. 2) EPA should have prepared an environmental impact statement prior to the release of Bt crops. 3) By transferring the ownership of Bt genes to private biotechnology companies, the EPA violated their public responsibility. The suit calls for the immediate withdrawal of all Bt plant registrations; no new approvals for Bt plants; and an environmental assessment of the potential impacts of Bt crops. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 2-18-99)
The new USDA Pesticide Data Program report indicates that 43% of the fruit/vegetable samples had no detectable pesticide residues! Approximately 85% of milk samples had no detectable pesticide residues. Nearly all of the remaining 57% of fruits/vegetable samples had residues well below EPA tolerances. Of the violations, 99% were pesticide residues for products not registered on that particular crop. This type of violation could result from spray drift and could be found in organic crops as well as conventionally produced crops. (PDP, December 98)
A lot of public concern about pesticides comes from the commonly held belief that all foods are covered with pesticides. This fear is unfounded. Regulation based on this fallacy is illogical, but some action groups play upon public fears. We do not consider banning cars even though they cause deaths and environmental damage. After all, the logical replacement, bicycles, could cause death and/or brain damage to your child. In response to car and bicycle risks, we employ seat belts, air bags, and helmets. Let us continue to advance pesticide safety, but we should not deprive society of the benefits of pesticide technology simply because there are risks.
According to researchers at the American Association for Advancement of Science annual meeting, excess fertilizer from the U.S. Corn Belt contributes to a 7,000 square mile 'dead zone' in the Gulf of Mexico. Nutrient-rich runoff into the Mississippi River triggers algal growth that reduces oxygen levels in the water. The size of the dead zone has doubled since 1992. A professor of ag economics with Purdue University indicated that nitrogen runoff could be reduced up to 25% without hurting food prices or farm exports. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 1-28-99)
Corn Belt growers should pay attention. Either be proactive to reduce nitrogen entering the Mississippi or face almost certain federal regulation. The White House has convened a panel of experts to examine the causes and implications of the dead zone.
France has withdrawn the provisional label for Gaucho (imidacloprid) over possible adverse effects on honeybees. The French think that imidacloprid may cause 'mad bee disease,' a syndrome in which bees do not behave normally. There are also reports that imidacloprid drenches on tomatoes adversely affect the behavior of bumblebees. Several imidacloprid products are registered in the United States, including Gaucho, Admire, and Provado. (APIS, 1-99)
There are serious implications if imidacloprid is causing these problems. This pesticide is widely used on a variety of crops, and it has very low toxicity for humans and most nontarget species.
The Bayer Corporation has asked EPA to phase out and cancel isofenphos. Isofenphos (Oftanol) has only a few remaining uses on lawns and turf. The cancellation is expected to have little impact because other alternatives are available. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 16, 1999; include the docket control number (OPP-64039).
Although cancellation is scheduled for 9-30-99, existing stocks can be used until they are exhausted. (EPA press release, 1-15-99)
The following products will be canceled unless the request is withdrawn by 7-26-99. If you want to preserve a particular product, contact the registrant.
|1% Rotenone Garden Dust||Guthion Solupack 35%|
|AFC Diphacinone 0.1%||Guthion Technical|
|Alpha 412||Hi Yield 2.5% Bromacil Liquid Weed Killer|
|Asulam technical||Hi Yield 7.5% Bromacil Liquid Concentrate|
|ChemTox Low Odor Flea Spray||Kills Rats with Para Blox|
|Commercial Size Para Blox||Marlate 300 Methoxychlor Flowable|
|Crumblized Slug and Snail Bait||Marlate 400 Flowable Concentrate|
|Cuprinol No. 30 Clear Wood Preservative||Orthene Turf, Tree, and Ornamental Spray|
|D-Con Mouse Killing Station||Pelletized Slug and Snail Bait|
|Di Mix 110||Prentox Larva Lur|
|Dupont Karmex DF Herbicide||Prokil Azinphos-M|
|Dupont Morox DF Herbicide||Ridell-Zinc Tracking Powder|
|Gold Crest Vengeance Rodenticide||Rinse-Disinfectant-Sanitizer-Deodorizer|
|Gowan Azinphos-M 50W||Ronilan Fungicide 50W|
|Guthion 2L||SMCP 110|
|Guthion 2S||SMCP Para Blox Kills Rats Weather Proof Paraffin Rat Bait Fish|
|Guthion 3 Flowable||SMCP Para Blox Weather Proof Rat Bait Fish and Grain|
|Guthion 35% Wettable Powder||Unicorn Coumaphos Screwworm Spray|
The following uses will be deleted from these pesticide products.
Lorsban 4E: popcorn
Nufos 4E: popcorn
1% Rotenone Garden Dust: all food crop uses
Dursban 20 MEC: indoor uses on furniture, upholstery, rugs, direct application to pets, indoor/outdoor commercial use in sewer manholes
Lindane Technical Powder: alfalfa, apples, apricots, asparagus, avocado, beans, beets, carrots, cherries, clover, cotton, cucumber, eggplant, flax, grape, guava, lentil, mango, peas, pear, pecan, peppers, pineapple, plums, pumpkin, quince, safflower, soybean, squash, strawberry, sudan grass, sugar beet, summer squash, sunflower, tomato, tobacco, ornamental plants, lawns, beef cattle, goats, hogs, horses, mules, sheep, and military use on human skin/clothing.
The appearance of any trade name in this newsletter is not intended to endorse that product nor convey negative implications of unmentioned products.
The Georgia Pest Management Newsletter is a monthly journal for extension agents, extension specialists, and others interested in pest management news. It provides information on legislation, regulations, and other issues affecting pest management in Georgia.
Do not regard the information in this newsletter as pest management recommendations. Consult the Georgia Pest Control Handbook, other extension publications, or appropriate specialists for this information.
Your input in this newsletter is encouraged.
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Department of Entomology
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
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Paul Guillebeau, Assistant Professor & Extension Entomologist