The University of Georgia
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

The Georgia Pest Management Newsletter

Your source for pest management and pesticide news

November 1998/Volume 21, no. 6

IPM NOTEBOOK

What is going on with IPM in schools these days?
According to a survey from Iowa State Univ., nearly 2/3 of farmers realize a $2-5 return for every dollar they pay for crop consulting

NEWS YOU CAN USE

The USDA reports several important findings, from biocontrol of leafy spurge to a nematode to control house flies.
The University of California's Natural Enemies Handbook is considered to be one of best references of its kind.
There is a new report from USDA about small farms in the U.S.
The EPA has registered a new bear repellent.
The American Phytopathological Society has released a CD with more than 600 images of alfalfa/lucerne, barley, corn/maize, soybean, sorghum, and wheat pathology.
Did you ever want to send Bill Clinton or Al Gore an e-mail?
Did you know about the National Agric. Pest Information System?
This web site is advertised as more information than most people even want to know about codling moth.
If you are concerned with pesticide regulation, you may want to visit PestLaw Online.
The EPA has a new publication that discusses preparation of health care providers facing pesticide emergencies.

FROM THE COURTROOM

Robert E. Kelly, Jr. of Memphis, TN thought it was good business for his company to apply methyl parathion to homes.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a number of attorneys general are trying to halt the sale of Terminate bait.

EPA AND YOU

The EPA has released new draft guidance for conducting studies concerned with pesticide risks to groundwater.
The EPA issued Reregistration Eligibility Documents (REDs) for a cluster of six rodenticides.

FQPA

The EPA is seeking public comment on the preliminary risk assessments it has conducted on seven organophosphate pesticides: ethoprop (Mocap), tribufos (DEF 6), sulfotep (Bladafum), temephos (Abate), dimethoate, cadusafos (Rugby) and fenthion (Baytex).
The problem with FQPA implementation is a lack of basic information.
FQPA may result in the prescriptive use of pesticides; is it feasible?
Look for the Environmental Working Group to release their assessment of pesticide use on apples and peaches.
The EPA and USDA have announced additional TRAC meetings for early next year.

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

More pesticides will be coming out of Asia in the near future.

BIOTECHNOLOGY

The Rural Advancement Foundation International wants to stop negotiations between USDA and Monsanto regarding 'Terminator' technology.
According to a recent article in Nature (9-3-98), some transgenic plants transfer genes to wild relatives at a higher-than-expected rate.

METHYL BROMIDE

This time my predictions were correct; politics may save methyl bromide for a while at least.

If you would like to receive the Georgia Pest Management Newsletter via e-mail (instead of a hard copy), send your e-mail address to tall@bugs.ent.uga.edu A year's free subscription to GPMN. Don't forget that back issues are on the Web at http://www.ces.uga.edu/ces/wnews.html

IPM Notebook

What is going on with IPM in schools these days? Applying IPM principles to urban pest management is an idea whose time has come. We have no reason to think that our children face great risks from pesticides applied in and around schools, but it is always prudent to minimize pesticide use around children. With sanitation, mechanical exclusion, and other techniques, we can reduce or eliminate the need for chemicals to control many pests around schools.

Some states (e.g., Texas) have made IPM in schools part of the state law. Georgia and many other states hope to avoid similar legislation by introducing IPM into schools proactively. Florida has established a very useful Web site <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~schoolipm/> Georgia is collecting information survey information concerning pest problems and pesticide usage in Georgia schools. We are also cooperating with other states and organizations to provide IPM education to school districts across the Southeast.

There have been some concerns about our efforts, however. Many schools contract pest management to outside companies, and some pest control companies are concerned that we want to cut them out. Their concerns are unfounded. Progressive pest control companies will work with school districts to minimize pesticide inputs through IPM. The companies may be paid less for pesticide applications, but they will be paid more for information, monitoring, and pest management. In some cases, schools may decide that their personnel can apply IPM, and others may realize a need for outside expertise. In the event that the pest control company cannot or will not provide pest management through IPM, the school is better off without that company.

Our goals are to work with schools and pest control companies to help them manage pests with a wide variety of tools. Pesticides are one of the tools, but we often rely on chemical controls too heavily. We want the pest control operator, whether internal or outside contractor, to minimize the use and risks of pesticides around children. We want schools to realize that it is valuable to pay for expertise and monitoring; i.e., the professional PCO is not wasting time just because he or she does not have a spray wand in their hand.

According to a survey from Iowa State University, nearly 2/3 of farmers realize a $2-5 return for every dollar they pay for crop consulting (visit http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/ncr/info/survey.html for survey results).

Because of the inherent risks and uncontrolled variables in their business, both farmers and consultants are risk averse. Even the best pest thresholds carry uncertainty. In many cases, a borderline pest infestation would not cause catastrophic losses, but they might. As a result, there is always an incentive to recommend treatment when the pest data are inconclusive.

Most economic or business consultants carry insurance that will allow them to make more liberal conclusions. This type of insurance is often not available or too expensive for crop consultants. Consequently, it is often preferable for the consultant to recommend additional pesticides that may be unnecessary rather than risk the crop yield or quality.

If you are a consultant, you may be interested in getting more information about reducing your risks. Contact Tom Green, IPM Works, representing ACIC at 2322 Keyes Ave., Madison, WI 53711. 608-255-9443, 608-255-9469 (fax), <tagreen@compuserve.com> (e-mail). You may also be interested in this book, Privatization of Information and Agricultural Industrialization. S.A. Wolf, ed. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL, page 177.

News You Can Use

The USDA reports several important findings, from biocontrol of leafy spurge to a nematode to control house flies. Scientists have discovered that plants encourage advantageous bacteria with exudates from their roots. Certain Rhizobacteria spp. attack other plants trying to become established in the same area. The USDA has identified certain bacterial strains that attack leafy spurge; this discovery may be a valuable stepping-stone to expand biological-control of weeds.

The USDA is investigating a nematode that is distributed by house flies, AND they leave female houseflies sterile. The nematode attacks the fly pupa, reproduces, and attacks the ovaries. As the females attempt to lay eggs, they deposit nematodes instead. In some experiments, the nematodes reduced fly populations by approximately 90%. The only U.S. colony is quarantined in a USDA Florida facility. (Agric. Res., 10-98)

The University of California's Natural Enemies Handbook is considered to be one of best references of its kind. It includes more than 300 color photographs and taxonomically correct drawings of arthropod predators, parasitoids, pathogens, etc. Now, when you take off your shoes, you can determine how many 'good guys' are stuck to the bottom; perhaps you can avoid stepping on them next time.

The manual also has practical information about those biocontrols that are most likely to help control specific pests. If you work with IPM or biocontrol, this reference is probably worth an investment.

For information, call 510-642-2431 or visit their Web site.

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/GENERAL/naturalenemiesflyer.html

There is a new report from USDA about small farms in the U.S. It outlines strategies to support small farms as well as statistics and information about small farms in the U.S. Order 'A Time to Act: A Report of the USDA National Commission on Small Farms, January 1998' by calling 800-245-6340.

The EPA has registered a new bear repellent. The product is 'Counter Assault Bear Deterrent,' and the Agency reports that the product has been proven to be an effective bear deterrent when used as directed (make sure you apply the proper rate). You may not need this product often, but when you need it, you REALLY need it. (EPA Press Advisory, 9-25-98)

The American Phytopathological Society has released a CD with more than 600 images of alfalfa/lucerne, barley, corn/maize, soybean, sorghum, and wheat pathology. You can search the database by host, pathogen, disease name, and key word. APS Press, 3340 Pilot Knob Rd., St. Paul, MN 55121-2097, USA.

Phone: 1-612-454-7250 or http://www.scisoc.org/

Did you ever want to send Bill Clinton or Al Gore an e-mail? Here are their addresses: president@whitehouse.gov and vice.president@whitehouse.gov It can be a handy way to make your voice heard. However, I do not think you can still get a message to Monica with this address.

Did you know about the National Agric. Pest Information System? It includes a wide range of plant pest survey data for the U.S. Visit their Web site for information on a large number of specific pests.

http://www.ceris.purdue.edu/napis/

This web site is advertised as more information than most people even want to know about codling moth. More than 6,500 literature references from 1700, including the original treatise by J. Appleseed et al. There are also sections on phenology, population dynamics, a degree-day calculator, and more.

http://www.ippc.orst.edu/codlingmoth

If you are concerned with pesticide regulation, you may want to visit PestLaw Online.

http://www.pestlaw.com/

The site contains unbiased, hard-to-find resources like: government guidance documents, EPA Pesticide Registration Notices, enforcement decisions, Federal Register documents, data compensation awards, press releases, interactive registration and reporting forms, news briefs, laws and regulations, EPA's Label Review Manual, and much, much more. It also hosts a discussion group, a job bank, and a calendar of pesticide-related meetings and events.

The EPA has a new publication that discusses preparation of health care providers facing pesticide emergencies. Order "Pesticides and National Strategies for Health Care Providers" by calling 703-305-7666.

From the Courtroom

Robert E. Kelly, Jr., of Memphis, TN thought it was good business for his company to apply methyl parathion to homes. Methyl parathion is labeled only for outdoor applications, where it breaks down quickly. Indoor use can be extremely dangerous, and the chemical remains toxic for up to two years. Taxpayers will pay more than $2 million to rectify this situation. Mr. Kelly faces up to ten years behind bars.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a number of attorneys general are trying to halt the sale of Terminate bait. From what I have heard, Terminate did not live up to the sales pitch. Hit the Web for the details.

http://extlab1.entnem.ufl.edu/PestAlert

EPA and You

The EPA has released new draft guidance for conducting studies concerned with pesticide risks to groundwater. The Agency says the new guidelines will save money because fewer samples are necessary. These data are required only for those pesticides or degradates with significant leaching potential. The guidance will now go to a panel of science advisors for review and will be open for public comment. You can see the draft on the Web.

http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/SAP/

The Agency plans to finalize the new guidelines in the Spring of 1999.

The EPA issued Reregistration Eligibility Documents (REDs) for a cluster of six rodenticides. Brief explanation: Reregistration is still going on at EPA. All older pesticides must be reexamined. Without a RED, an older pesticide cannot be reregistered. Even with RED, there is no guarantee that any specific pesticide will be reregistered.

Brodifacoum, Bromadiolone, Bromethalin, Chlorophacinone, Dephacinone (and its sodium salt), and pival (and it sodium salt). These pesticides are used to control rats.

The Agency is concerned about children encountering rodenticide baits. Around 90% of the rodenticide cases involve children under six.

To reduce the risks to children, the EPA wants registrants to add a bittering agent and an indicator dye. Additionally, a stakeholder group will meet to develop other ideas to reduce the risk of rodenticides. (EPA Press Advisory, 10-16-98)

If you want to see the RED documents, hit the WEB.

http://www.epa.gov/REDs

FQPA

The EPA is seeking public comment on the preliminary risk assessments it has conducted on seven organophosphate pesticides: ethoprop (Mocap), tribufos (DEF 6), sulfotep (Bladafum), temephos (Abate), dimethoate, cadusafos (Rugby) and fenthion (Baytex). To obtain a copy of any of the preliminary risk assessments and related documents, call 703-305-5805 or visit the Web http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/op

Written comments on these assessments must be submitted by 11/9/98. They may be electronically submitted as an ASCII file to: opp-docket@epamail.epa.gov

For further information contact:

Ms. Karen Angulo
EPA, Special Review Branch
phone 703-308-8004
email angulo.karen@epa.gov

Sources: Federal Register 63:48213 9/9/98

The problem with FQPA implementation is a lack of basic information. For many minor crops and minor uses, we do not even know which pesticides are important. Unless we provide EPA with information, do not complain when the decisions do not seem logical. The USDA and agricultural universities are teaming up to provide these crop profiles.

A crop profile will contain all of the basic information for crop production.

  1. When/where/how is commodity produced?
  2. What are the key pests?
  3. What pesticides are critical for production?
  4. How do pesticides fit into IPM and pesticide resistance strategies?
  5. What impacts can be expected if critical pesticides are lost?

Keep in mind that all pesticide uses cannot be protected under FQPA. We must do an honest and thoughtful evaluation of critical needs.

Question 4 is particularly important. FQPA requires special consideration of pesticides that play key roles in IPM or pesticide resistance.

It is up to us to produce the crop profiles in a timely manner. The wheels of EPA move slowly at times, but decisions are often made suddenly after long delays. Let us be prepared. We will provide leadership in the development of crop profiles, but we may call on you or your organization for help. Assist us in two ways; insist that we develop crop profiles, and provide information when you can.

Row crops, such as peaches or cotton, have received much of the FQPA attention. However, we must be sure not to neglect other commodities such as dairy or animal production.

FQPA may result in the prescriptive use of pesticides; is it feasible? A new report from the Council of Agric. Science and Technology explores the possibilities. Order "Feasibility of Prescription Pesticide Use in the United States" for $3 or visit their Web site.

CAST, 4420 W. Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50014 http://www.cast-science.org/.

Look for the Environmental Working Group to release their assessment of pesticide use on apples and peaches. Their assessment is based on preliminary risk analyses released by EPA. It is not challenging to take preliminary information about pesticides and produce a frightening report. Without all of the information, however, it is impossible to produce a comprehensive discussion of pesticide risks and benefits. I guess that is why the EPA calls their assessment preliminary. A publicly released risk assessment based on preliminary data is likely to be premature and unnecessarily frightening.

The EPA and USDA have announced additional TRAC meetings for early next year. Public interest groups threaten to boycott, citing unnecessary delays and wasted resources. Most of the TRAC members were in favor of additional meetings. I hope that the public interest groups will continue to participate. We already have enough 'us' versus 'them' already.

The EPA made concessions to the public interest groups to encourage their cooperation. The EPA promised to begin tolerance reassessment decisions on the organophosphates before FQPA science policies are final. I hope that EPA does mean that decisions will be made without policies in place.

Health and the Environment

More pesticides will be coming out of Asia in the near future. China is expected to produce more than 350,000 tons of pesticide in 1998; nearly 2/3 will be insecticides. Pesticide production in India is expected to be around 90,000 tons in 1998/99.

Pesticide sales in South Korea fell 22% in 1997. The government is promoting agriculture with less impact on the environment. Pesticide sales in Thailand are expected to fall 10% in 1998, primarily due to drought. Pesticide sales in Vietnam rose 22% in 1997 due to increased acreage and pest pressure; insecticides accounted for nearly of the sales.

(Agrow: World Crop Protection News, June 26, August 14, August 28, and September 8, 1998)

Biotechnology

The Rural Advancement Foundation International wants to stop negotiations between USDA and Monsanto regarding 'Terminator' technology. The application of this technology will prevent growers from saving seed from year to year. They will be forced to purchase new seed every season.

Monsanto controls a large segment of the commercial seed market. The company's genetically engineered crops are expected to be planted on 50 million acres worldwide this year. Understandably, the company wants growers to purchase seed from them instead of saving seed. U.S. cotton growers, for example, are prohibited from saving seed from cotton that contains the genes to produce B.t. toxin. However, to ensure compliance with this agreement, the company would have to expend considerable resources monitoring all of the growers. The problem is multiplied many times in a global situation.

This type of agreement is not a big problem in the U.S. Growers absorb the annual seed cost; it is offset partially or completely because the seed allows the producer save money in other costs (e.g., insecticide applications in the case B.t. cotton). Additionally, the number of growers is relatively small and geographically localized.

With the Terminator technology, however, the seed company no longer has to monitor producers. The seed are genetically altered so that the resulting plants are sterile. Growers will not be able to produce new plants from the seeds that are produced.

The USDA and Delta & Pine Land Co. (owned by Monsanto) developed this technology together, and D&P is negotiating for an exclusive license. The technology can be adapted to nearly all crops.

There are many facets to this issue, and its resolution could dramatically change the future. Certainly, the company should be able to profit from their investment in new technology. Why should the company spend millions to develop genetically improved crops if growers will simply save their seed from year to year? You cannot save seed from hybrid corn lines (not as a result of Terminator).

On the other hand, D&P reportedly will target the use of Terminator seeds in developing countries where many growers need to minimize seed expenses by saving seed. If these growers have no other source for purchasing seed, Terminator could be an economic problem for them. Monsanto controls a large segment of the seed industry, and they probably plan to expand further [by the way, the merger between Monsanto and American Home Products is off]. Additionally, this technology could take ordinary growers out of plant breeding entirely. Many important plant lines owe part of their development to breeding by ordinary farmers, not mega-corporations. Finally, some genetically engineered traits are showing a worrisome tendency to jump from crops to wild relatives. We want to be sure that a gene for sterility can never escape.

India has banned the import of Terminator seeds. The Dutch parliament is opposing the European patent of the technology.

If you want to weigh in on the debate or just get more information, hit the Web. http://www.rafi.org/usda.html

Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), P.O. Box 640, Pittsboro, North Carolina 27312; phone (919) 542-1396; fax (919) 542-0069; email rafiusa@rafi.org

According to a recent article in Nature (9-3-98), some transgenic plants transfer genes to wild relatives at a higher-than-expected rate. Scientists compared mustard with a naturally-occurring mutation with mustard that was genetically engineered. Both mustards were resistant to the herbicide chlorsuluron. Outcrossing (transferring the resistance genes to other plants) from the genetically engineered strain was increased 20-fold compared with the natural mutation. It is not clear why outcrossing was increased.

Methyl Bromide

This time my predictions were correct; politics may save methyl bromide for a while at least. A bill to delay the methyl bromide phase-out has passed Congress and is being considered by the President. The bill would push the U.S. ban on methyl bromide back to 2005 and allow producers to continue export of methyl bromide even after the U.S. phase-out. I would like to see methyl bromide preserved for quarantine uses. Quarantine is a small portion of current usage; it works extremely well; and I see no reason it cannot be totally recaptured from a quarantine enclosure. On the other hand, I think the evidence dictates the rapid phase-out of agricultural uses in the field. Our phase-out is in advance of global action, but much of the world looks to the U.S. for leadership in these types of actions. (PANNA, 10-7,8-98)

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 Control 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 706-542-1765

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/ces/wnews.html

Sincerely:

Paul Guillebeau, Assistant Professor & Extension Entomologist