The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Your source for pest management and pesticide news

January 2003/Volume 26, No. 1

The 2003 Satellite Pesticide Workshop is coming February 13

 NEWS YOU CAN USE

The 2003 edition of the Georgia Pest Management Handbook (formerly the Georgia Pest Control Handbook) is available on the Internet
SmartMoneymagazine had some strong criticism for the pest-control industry
The PCT Fly Management Summit is scheduled for March 12-14, 2003, in Atlanta, Georgia
Dust-sized silicon chips may be able to rapidly and remotely detect biological and chemical agents
Spinosad can provide protection against stored grain pests

FEDERAL NEWS

The EPA has informed the Pesticide Industry Fees Coalition that invoices for the 2003 Pesticide Maintenance Fees will be sent out based on the authority to collect $17 million under the current Continuing Resolution
The USDA is giving away grant money for a number of worthy projects

FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT -- REREGISTRATION

The EPA needs public comments on the methods to select the first group of chemicals to be screened in the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program
Unless the requests are withdrawn, these pesticide labels will delete some uses

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Scientists with USDA-ARS do not think that pesticides are the root cause of deformities observed in frogs
Californians for Alternatives to Toxics sued the California Department of Pesticide Regulation
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Office of Community Relations has a general fact sheet on West Nile Virus in 17 different languages

BIOTECHNOLOGY

According to the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, plant biotechnology has major impacts on U.S. agriculture and the environment
Here is a new book about biotechnology that may interest you
A farmer in France was sentenced to 14 months in prison for destroying two fields of genetically modified crops

IPM NOTEBOOK

Growers in four states will soon be able to purchase insurance that will protect them from losses incurred by following Best Management Practices

The 2003 Satellite Pesticide Workshop is coming February 13! Find out more and register on-line at http://www.ent.uga.edu/ We will do our best to teach you something about effective new pesticides, the latest biotechnology innovations, EPA plans, and a lot more. Certified pesticide applicators will also receive five hours of recertification credit in any nonstructural category; private applicators will receive two hours of recertification credit.

News You Can Use

The 2003 edition of the Georgia Pest Management Handbook (formerly the Georgia Pest Control Handbook) is available on the Internet.  The name change is part of our ongoing effort to include more IPM information in the Handbook. We expect to have the hard copies by February 1. You can find the web version at http://www.ent.uga.edu/

In August of 2002, SmartMoney magazine had some strong criticism for the pest-control industry.  The article was called "Ten Things Your Exterminator Won't Tell You." Unfortunately, the 10points were true for some companies, and the insults apply to many ornamental/turf companies as well. At the recent Purdue Pest Control Conference, PCT Publisher Dan Moreland (publisher of PCT magazine) and Fred Whitford (my counterpart at Purdue) offered sound advice to counter the disparagement.

Here are some of the SmartMoney points along with the advice of Whitford and Moreland.

"Your bugs will be back -- but we might not." Educate your customers. In most cases, no one can eliminate pests permanently. Be truthful with your customers about what to expect from your service.

"If your new home has termites, we won't find them." Make sure your employees are thoroughly educated in inspection techniques and building construction. Ensure that your inspectors are doing the work and documenting their activities.

"Don't bother with those expensive baits. Just use Raid." Consumer education about IPM is critical. Pesticides may be part of the control plan, but progressive companies focus on selling knowledge and expert advice.

"You find ants tricky to get rid of? Funny, so do we." If your company wants to control ants consistently, become experts in the identification, biology, and behavior of key ant species.

"Our chemicals will clobber bugs - and you." Your technicians need to be able to communicate the benefits and risks of pesticides clearly. Customers have the right to know what risks are associated with a particular pesticide, but the media impressions may exaggerate the risks. Keep the MSDS readily available. Be truthful about the risks.

"Knowledgeable technicians are your best defense," Whitford said. "Do your part to foster a positive industry image by becoming active in your community and taking advantage of media opportunities to show the industry in a positive light." (PCT Online, 1-7-03)

The PCT Fly Management Summit is scheduled for March 12-14, 2003 in Atlanta, Georgia. If your company needs to know more about controlling these pesky critters, this is the conference for you.  Call 800/456-0707 or register online http://www.pctflysummit.com/

Dust-sized silicon chips may be able to rapidly and remotely detect biological and chemical agents, including substances terrorists could dissolve in drinking water or spray into the atmosphere. (OK, maybe you will not be using this technology right away) The sensors are as small as piece of dust, and they could be stuck to a wall or dispersed into water or air. The sensory 'dust' can recognize chemical or biological agents; this information can be read like a series of bar codes to indicate the presence of anthrax in the air or a toxic substance in drinking water.

Scientists begin with silicon wafers similar to those used to manufacture computer chips, then encode them by generating layers of nanometer-thick porous films using an electrochemical etch. The layered structure, created by breaking apart the wafer using ultrasound, imparts unusual optical properties to the particles. Called photonic crystals, these micron-sized particles reflect light in precise colors, each one of which can be thought of as a single bar in a bar code. The particles can be encoded for millions of potential reactions, so it will be possible to test for thousands of chemicals simultaneously. So far, the dust can be used to detect hazards from 20 meters away; the scientists hope to boost detection to 1000 meters. You can find the entire article on the Web at http://www.machinedesign.com/ASP/issueArticle.asp (Machine Design, 1-8-03)

Spinosad can provide protection against stored grain pests. Many farmers are worried about protecting stored grains. Chlorpyrifos-methyl (Reldan) has been widely used, but it is being phased out. Malathion is still used, but resistance limits its utility. Fumigants, such as aluminum phosphide, are very dangerous.

Kansas State scientists report that spinosad killed 100 percent of lesser grain borer for a year, and it is effective against rice weevil, rusty grain beetle, confused flour moth, rice moth, and flat grain beetle. Although spinosad breaks down quickly in sunlight, it will last for more than a year in an enclosed bin. Spinosad is registered for more than 100 crops in the United States, but it is not registered for use on stored grains. (KSU News Release 8-30-02 via Chemically Speaking 9-02)

Federal News

The EPA has informed the Pesticide Industry Fees Coalition that invoices for the 2003 Pesticide Maintenance Fees will be sent out based on the authority to collect $17 million under the current Continuing Resolution. If subsequent appropriations bills increase the amount of maintenance fees, the EPA would send out a second invoice to collect the difference.

The Federal, Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act authorizes EPA to collect $17 million in maintenance fees from pesticide registrants. The Agency divides the $17 million by the number of pesticide registrations. The fee schedule from last year was $1,225 for the first product registration and $2,450 for the second and subsequent products registered. There is a cap on the amount a company is required to pay depending on the size of the company. Payments are due to EPA by January 15, 2003. Thanks to Adams Technology Systems for this information.

The USDA is giving away grant money for a number of worthy projects. The focus areas include Pest Management Alternatives, Integrated Pest Management Centers, Crops at Risk, Risk Avoidance and Mitigation, Organic Transitions, and Methyl Bromide Transitions.

If you have some ideas, check it out. http://www.reeusda.gov/1700/funding/rfaintegrated_03.htm

Food Quality Protection Act -- Reregistration

The EPA needs public comments on the methods to select the first group of chemicals to be screened in the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. The screening program was mandated by FQPA. The deadline for comments is March 1, 2003.

An endocrine disruptor is a chemical (or combination of chemicals) that interferes with the hormonal system of humans or other animals. Animals use chemical messengers from one part of the body to cause changes elsewhere in the body. One common example would be the biochemicals that make sweet little girls grow into women and sweet little boys become spitting, cussing, maniacs ('man' is typically used as the abbreviation). Disruption of this system might make it difficult to determine which is the opposite sex.

After the comments have been reviewed, the Agency will issue a second Federal Register notice that will define the process for selecting the first group of chemicals and the chemicals that EPA proposes to screen in the first round. Chemicals in the initial screen will be chosen primarily on potential exposure; the initial list will not be a register of chemicals that are known or likely endocrine disruptors. Subsequent lists are likely to be more selective as EPA gains experience and knowledge. See http://www.epa.gov/scipoly/new.htm for more information.

Endocrine disruption will be a big deal. Widely occurring deformities of amphibians make many people suspect that something is interfering with the amphibian endocrine system. As always, pesticides are high on many people's list of suspects. Take the time to review the EPA process.

Unless the requests are withdrawn, these pesticide labels will delete some uses.

SEVIN Brand 97.5 percent Manufacturing Concentrate Insecticide/Carbaryl: Delete Poultry
Fulex Nicotine/ Nicotine Fumigator: Delete Greenhouse food crops
Trilin/ Trifluralin: Delete Eggplant, onion
TOPSIN M 70W Turf and Ornamentals/Thiophanate-methyl: Delete sod farms
TOPSIN M 4.5F Turf and Ornamentals/ Thiophanate-methyl: Delete sod farms
Drexel Diazinon 5G/ Diazinon: Delete Celery
Drexel Metolachlor/ Metolachlor Technical: Delete turf use
Sipcam Metolachlor/ Metolachlor: Delete Turf use
Deletions effective on June 4, 2003, or on January 6, 2003, for Drexel Diazinon/celery.

(EPA Pesticide Program Update, 12-19-02)

Health and the Environment

Scientists with USDA-ARS do not think that pesticides are the root cause of deformities observed in frogs. Since 1995, scientists have been investigating malformations, including missing limbs, extra limbs, and missing eyes. Initially, agricultural chemicals were thought to be causing the problems. According to USDA-ARS research, naturally occurring estrogenic compounds and mineral shortages may be the culprits instead. Estradiol and testosterone readily affect the endocrine system, and large quantities of both compounds occur in animal wastes. Water samples from sites with deformed frogs exhibited estrogenic activity, but current technology could not identify the specific estrogens present. Additionally, many of the sites were deficient in key minerals such as sodium and potassium. The low mineral levels could delay frog maturity and make them more susceptible to developmental deformities. The mineral fluctuations could be the result of a record drought followed by a record wet period. Finally, some research linked the deformities with infection by a flatworm parasite.

The bottom line seems to be that there is no simple answer for the frog deformities, and pesticides may still be a factor.  Some pesticides are known to have estrogenic activity. Even if we cannot easily explain these frog deformities, we ignore them at our own peril. After all, frogs may be like the canaries used to warn coal miners. If the canaries died, the miners took quick action. (Agricultural Research, January 2003)

Californians for Alternatives to Toxics sued the California Department of Pesticide Regulation; the group claims that the state agency failed to review impacts of pesticides on amphibian habitat. They further contend that the pesticides are linked to declines of California red-legged frog and other endangered amphibians.

The lawsuit is based on evidence that the pesticides detected are likely to disrupt the endocrine system, resulting in a variety of negative impacts on amphibian species (see the story above for USDA-ARS research in this area). A similar lawsuit accused EPA of ignoring the federal Endangered Species Act by not restricting pesticides known to kill or deform the red-legged frog. (PANUPS, 12-9-02)

The New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene's Office of Community Relations has a general fact sheet on West Nile Virus in 17 different languages (including Arabic, Sengali, Chinese, Creole, French, German, Greek, Italian, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Urdu and Yiddish). Read the English version on-line at http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/wnv/wnvfaq1.html Call their office to find out about receiving copies in other languages (212-788-4735). The NYC Department of Health also has toll-free West Nile Virus Information in Spanish and English (1-877-968-4692). During the peak mosquito season, they plan to answer calls from 8 am to 9 pm; staffing will probably be reduced during the winter.

Biotechnology

According to the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, plant biotechnology has major impacts on U.S. agriculture and the environment; potential effects are even greater. In 2001, eight biotech cultivars (insect resistant corn and cotton; herbicide tolerant canola, corn, cotton, and soybean; and virus resistant papaya and squash) increased crop yields by four billion pounds and reduced pesticide use by 46 million pounds. Growers saved more than one billion dollars in production costs. The net value for the eight crops was $1.5 billion.

The study included the potential impacts of additional cultivars being developed.



Crop Type Crop Type Crop Type
Peanut VR, IR Tomato VR, HT Lettuce HT
Strawberry HT Pineapple NR Broccoli IR
Citrus VR, BR Sweet corn IR, HT Stone fruits VR
Raspberry VR Potato IR, VR, HT Sugarbeet HT
Grape BR Apple BR Sunflower FR
Rice HT Alfalfa HT Barley FR
Wheat HT, VR Eggplant IR Sugarcane HT

VR - virus resistant, IR - insect resistant, BR - bacteria resistant, NR - nematode resistance, HT - herbicide tolerant


The Center estimates that adoption of these additional cultivars would increase yields 10 billion pounds and reduce pesticide use by 117 million pounds, with a net economic impact of one billion dollars.

For the entire report, visit their web site http://www.ncfap.org/

Here is a new book about biotechnology that may interest you. Dinner at the New Gene Café: How Genetic Engineering is Changing What We Eat, How We Live, and the Global Politics of Food compiles 15 years of reporting material and interviews with farmers, activists, industry representatives and government regulators from around the world. It also reportedly examines growing corporate control of global seed markets and growing international debate over GE crops. (PANUPS, 12-12-02)

A farmer in France was sentenced to 14 months in prison for destroying two fields of genetically modified crops. Jose Bove is described as a militant sheep farmer (is that an oxymoron?) who is also an anti-globalization activist (I don't see the clear link between biotech and globalization, but, then again, I am not a militant sheep farmer). Bove apparently took exception to fields of genetically modified rice. He had been sentenced to prison in 1999 for destroying a McDonald's restaurant near his sheep farm but he received a presidential pardon. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 11-20-02)

IPM Notebook

Growers in four states will soon be able to purchase insurance that will protect them from losses incurred by following Best Management Practices (BMP). BMP is a cousin of IPM. In this situation, BMP refers to nutrient management. A Wisconsin survey found that two out of three corn growers apply more than the recommended amount of nitrogen, and 80 percent apply excess phosphorous. The growers consider the extra fertilizer to be cheap insurance to guard against nutrient loss or underproduction in those years when conditions would produce a bumper crop. Several crop insurance companies will offer the policies through a federally subsidized program.

To qualify for the insurance, the grower must work with a certified crop consultant. The grower fertilizes a check strip at his usual fertilization rate, but follows state recommendations on the remaining acreage. If the yield in the check strip is more than five percent higher than the rest of the acreage, the insurance company pays the grower. For more information, see http://http://www.ncfap.org/ (IPM Institute Newsletter, Vol. 3-Issue 4)

We hope that this type of insurance will be transferred to encourage IPM. Growers can improve production efficiency and often reduce pesticide risks by adopting IPM. For a number of crops, it is not unusual for growers to apply pesticides as insurance against a pest problem that may never occur. One of the key tenets of IPM is to apply pesticides only when they are necessary. However, discontinuing "insurance" treatments may increase the risk of crop failure. If growers could purchase traditional insurance to guard them against such losses, they would be more likely to apply recommended IPM techniques. This type of insurance would be the true test of our confidence in the research/extension IPM mantra. After all, if IPM yields were just as good, the insurance company would rarely have to pay.

It would also be interesting to apply the same standard of insurance to organic production. A lot of people say that organic production can provide yields comparable to conventional production. Under certain growing conditions, these people are right, but are they ready to put their money where their mouth is? Most growers would not hesitate to shift to organic production if they were confident that their income would remain stable.

The appearance of any trade name in this newsletter is not intended to endorse that product nor convey negative implications of unmentioned products.

Dear Readers:

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 Management Handbook, other Extension publications, or appropriate specialists for this information.

Your input in this newsletter is encouraged.

If you wish to be added to the mailing list, just call us at 706-542-2816

Or write us:
Department of Entomology
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
E-mail: pguillebeau@bugs.ent.uga.edu

Or visit us on the Web. You will find all the back issues there and other useful information. http://www.ces.uga.edu/Agriculture/entomology/pestnewsletter/newsarchive.html

Sincerely:

Dr. Paul Guillebeau, Associate Professor & Extension Entomologist