The University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences
Cooperative Extension Service


Georgia Pest Management Newsletter

Your source for pest management and pesticide news

Feb/March 1998/Volume 21, No. 2


FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT

Grower groups must collect information used to demonstrate the importance of pesticides
It is important that we collect information that will be useful in other areas as well as FQPA

TRAINING FROM SPACE

Our pesticide workshop on February 13th was a great success!

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

The National Cancer Institute of Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society asked a panel of scientists to investigate the association of pesticide exposure and cancer
Consumers, however, remain concerned about pesticides
Scientists report that toys pick up chlorpyrifos during and after indoor applications
The Ga. Department of Natural Resources has released the results of a study to investigate pesticide contamination of Georgia wells and groundwater
USDA scientists are investigating better ways to control the ticks that transmit Lyme disease
The Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association recently published a report concerning pesticide poisonings from 1992-96
Methyl bromide use will be restricted under an international agreement and the U.S. Clean Air Act
Be careful with foggers!!

NEW TOOLS

The EPA has granted Georgia growers the use of Acrobat on squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, and cucumber to control late blight
The USDA is developing new strategies to keep insects from invading food packaging

FEDERAL NEWS

JUST THE FACTS - a little quiz to test your pesticide knowledge

CANCELED

ANOTHER OPINION

THE ANSWERS

Note: this issue is a combination of February and March. Things have been extraordinarily busy. Look for our regular monthly issue in April.

Food Quality Protection Act

I helped organize a meeting in St. Louis to help us devise the best response to FQPA. We hoped that our path would be clear following this meeting of the minds. I left, however, nearly as confused as I have been.

My frustration was not a fault of the meeting. There simply are many players in this game, and their are many cards left to be played. Political pressure is just beginning. Earlier this year, the house Agriculture Committee mailed a letter to EPA that criticized the way the Agency is implementing FQPA. The EPA is using default assumptions widely in areas where they lack data concerning exposure to pesticides; these assumptions assume the worst case scenario. For example, the Agency may assume that a pesticide is used on 100% of every commodity for which it is registered; that the pesticide is used at that maximum rate; and that the maximum number of applications are applied.

The Ag. Committee advised EPA that FQPA 'clearly allows the Agency broad authority to delay the effective date of an order or regulation to provide registrants and others the opportunity to develop data to support the continuation of the tolerance.' The letter further instructs EPA to base the tolerance assessment process on 'sound scientific data.' Finally, the Agency should not 'make hasty decisions which could result in negative consequences for U.S. agricultural producers and non-agricultural users.' The Senate Ag. Committee is expected to deliver a similar letter to EPA soon. These letters should carry considerable political weight.

On the other side of the political battle, public action groups such as Environmental Defense Fund have made it clear that they intend to hold EPA's toes to the fire on the further restriction of the organophosphate insecticides. Many of the members of these groups sincerely believe that we can and should do without organophosphate and other pesticides. Do not take them lightly. Their political skills are generally well-honed, and they are capable of mobilizing large numbers of people. Members of Congress and the Senate will not ignore large numbers of constituents, regardless of their viewpoints.

In St. Louis, the EPA made it clear that they intend to make decisions regarding organophosphate insecticides by August of 1999. The Agency spokesman stated that they had sufficient information to make decisions and that EPA plans to make decisions on schedule.

It is clear that the game is afoot, and we must become active players. In politically influenced decisions, it is imperative to have a loud and decisive voice. It is important to have as many people speaking with a unified voice as possible. Finally, the most influential voices are supported by information.

Grower groups and others must collect information that can be used to demonstrate the importance of pesticides and that can be used to accurately estimate pesticide risks. The following information is critical.

Pass this information on to registrants, EPA, and to your government representatives. If we do not make our needs clear, we may be ignored as decisions are made.

Because we do not know exactly where FQPA will lead, it is important that we collect information that will be useful in other areas as well. Although we are currently occupied with FQPA, keep in mind that reregistration of pesticides continues. Additionally, reauthorization of the Endangered Species Act is approaching. Some provisions of the Clean Water Act will affect pesticides. Other regulations will also require accurate pesticide information if they are to be implemented logically.

There are also non-regulatory uses for this type of information. Targeting IPM/pesticide research and extension depends upon knowing what the pesticide users need. Even without FQPA, it is precarious to rely on a single pesticide to control a key pest. Additionally, growers want to know what other growers are doing. If one grower produces the same crop with less pesticide, other growers are going to very interested.

Keep your eyes open. We will bring you information concerning FQPA as soon as possible. Undoubtedly, things will happen quickly. If we do not become involved now, we will lose critical pesticide tools.

Training from Space

Our pesticide workshop on February 13th was a great success! For the first time, we transmitted pesticide applicator training via satellite to a dozen locations around the state. More than 600 applicators received five hours of pesticide recertification credit and four hours of credit for certified crop advisors.

If you were able to attend, I hope you made some comments. We improve the programs with suggestions from the clientele. If you could not make it, come see us next year. Talk to your county agent about setting a training location in your town. With a satellite, the number of locations is virtually unlimited. If there are topics of broad interest that you would like to see, let us know. If you did not receive a notice about the Feb. 13th workshop, make sure that the Ga. Dept. of Agriculture has your current address. You may be missing other important information as well.

Our special thanks go out to the people who made it all possible. The speakers [Dr. Bill Segars, Dr. Phillip Roberts, Dr. David Bridges, Dr. Jean Woodward, Dr. Warren Copes, Tommy Gray, Doug Jones, and yours truly], Dr. Jeanne Werner (the workshop coordinator) and her secretary (Susan Bryant), Steve Brady and his staff (Gwinnet County Extension Service), Joe Sorenson and his crew (the technical gurus), and all of the facilitators and support at all of the remote locations around Georgia. Way to go!

Health and the Environment

The National Cancer Institute of Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society asked a panel of scientists to investigate the association of pesticide exposure and cancer. This expert panel would have no loyalty to pesticides and would have not reason to defend pesticide use. Here are the conclusions from their 1994 report.

(Cancer 1997, 80:2019, 2033 via Mississippi's Environment, 12-97)

Consumers, however, remain concerned about pesticides. The January 1998 issue of Pest Control Technology reported these results.

(via Agromedicine Program Update, 2-15-98)

In the January issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, scientists report that toys pick up chlorpyrifos during and after indoor applications. This finding raises some concerns for infants and toddlers, particularly if they frequently put their toys and/or hands in their mouths.

The researchers applied chlorpyrifos according to label directions, and they ventilated the room for the recommended four hours. After another hour, toys were replaced into the room and monitored for chlorpyrifos residues. Chlorpyrifos was detected on the surface and inside toys and pillows. The researchers concluded that children could be exposed to chlorpyrifos at levels that are considerably higher than levels currently recommended by EPA. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 1-28-98)

These results should not cause panic in the general populace, but they should encourage the use of common sense. It is unwise to use broadcast applications of pesticides indoors if there are children who spend much of their time on the floor, particularly if the children chew on anything within reach of their mouth. Use pesticides only when they are necessary; consider other alternatives (such as sanitation) to control pests; and ALWAYS follow pesticide label instructions carefully.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has released the results of a study to investigate pesticide contamination of Georgia wells and groundwater. Wells were monitored in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin and the Upper Suwannee River Basin. Both of these sites included agriculture production regions of Georgia. The study concluded that 'underground sources of drinking water do not currently appear to be in danger of pollution by current farming practices. Best Management Practices for Pesticides currently employed do not appear to result in pollution of Georgia's groundwater by pesticides.' (Pesticides Monitoring Network, Project Report 31, 1997) If you want a copy of your own, contact the Ga. Dept. of Agriculture.

USDA scientists are investigating better ways to control the ticks that transmit Lyme disease. Dr. Dolores Hill is investigating 13 different types of entomophagous nematodes for their ability to control the ticks. She hopes to identify effective nematodes and to establish the best methods of application. Dr. Patricia Allen microbial controls; fungi killed from 70% to 100% of the ticks in some experiments. Field tests are planned to evaluate efficacy in the real world. If you want more information, contact D. Hill and C. Allen at 301-504-8300. (Ag. Research, 3-98)

The Journal of South Carolina Medical Association recently published a report concerning pesticide poisonings from 1992-96. There were 112 hospitalizations for pesticide poisoning during that period. Accidental nonoccupational poisonings made up approximately 50% of all cases, with the cases split evenly between adults and children. Intentional ingestion of pesticides were 40% of the total. Occupational poisonings represented only 8% (agric. 7% + 1% other) of the poisonings. Occupational poisonings have declined from 37% of poisonings in the early 1970s. Nonoccupational and intentional pesticide poisonings have increased 10% and 22%, respectively, in that period. (JSCMA, 1997, 93:448-52 via Agromedicine Program Update, 1-15-98)

Methyl bromide use will be restricted under an international agreement (the Montreal Protocol) and the U.S. Clean Air Act. There are some interesting differences between the two. The Clean Air Act mandates phaseout of all Class I and II ozone depleting materials; the Montreal Protocol leaves phaseouts to a vote from the member countries. The Montreal Protocol permits countries to use methyl bromide during emergencies (up to 20 tons), and methyl bromide may continue to be used for 'critical uses' for which there is no alternative after the phase-out. The Clean Air allows no methyl bromide exemptions.

As it now stands, U.S. growers will lose methyl bromide completely in 2001 under the Clean Air Act. Under the Montreal Protocol, other industrialized nations will have a 50% reduction in 2001 and a 70% reduction by 2003, which is considered a de facto ban. Developing nations have committed to freezing their methyl bromide use at the average level used between 1995-98. They will phase out use by 2015. (Methyl Bromide Alternatives, 1-98)

Be careful with foggers!! Over the last 12 years, the New York City Fire Department reported 40 fires or explosions resulting from improper use of foggers; and EPA suspects there are many more incidents nationwide. Although they are commonly called 'bug bombs,' they are not intended to blow up unwanted insect populations.

To reduce the risk, EPA has implemented the following new label requirements.

For more information, contact the EPA at 703-305-5017

New Tools

The EPA has granted Georgia growers the use of Acrobat (dimethomorph and mancozeb) on squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, and cucumber to control late blight.

The exemption for use on tomato and pepper was denied. The tomato situation was not deemed to be urgent and nonroutine because there were no confirmed reports of the disease in commercial tomatoes. The pepper exemption was not granted because the cancer risk was estimated to be unacceptable.

Acrobat may be applied by ground or air at a maximum rate of 2.25 lbs product/acre. No more than 84,904 acres may be treated. The exemption expires November 30, 1998.

Contact the Ga. Dept. of Agriculture for more information.

Under Section 18, Zorial Rapid 80 (norflurazon) may be applied to bermudagrass hay fields to control grassy weeds. Do not apply where the water table is within 30 feet of the surface.

A single application may be applied by ground at a rate of 0.5-1.0 lbs active ingredient/acre. The exemption expires July 1, 1998.

The USDA is developing new strategies to keep insects from invading food packaging. Improving packaging involves better seals along package seams and closures and odor neutralizers to keep insects from finding the food. For more information, contact Dr. Michael Mullen (785-776-2782 or mullen@usgmrl.ksu.edu). (Ag. Research, 3-98)

A genetically engineered baculovirus stops corn earworms with the earworm's own hormones. The hormone makes the insect stop feeding and excrete most of its water. In lab studies, the altered virus killed 97% of the corn earworms. Greenhouse experiments are planned, followed by field experiments. Contact Ashok Raina for more information (301-504-9296 or araina@asrr.arsusda.gov). (Ag. Research, 3-98)

Round-Up Ready lettuce has been developed by the University of Florida. It reportedly could save growers up to $750/acre. There was no word about when it might be available. (Ag. Consultant, 11-97 via Pesticides Coord. Report, 2-98)

There is a new 24(c) label that allows Georgia foresters to use Krenite UT Brush Control Agent when establishing pine plantations. Be sure to follow the label. Contact your local DuPont representative or the Ga. Department of Agriculture for more details.

The 24(c) label for Lorsban 50W Water Soluble Packets for peppers/tomatoes (except cherry tomatoes) has been expanded to include pepper weevil. Contact the Ga. Dept. of Agriculture for more details.

A 24(c) label has been issued for use of Tracer (spinosad) to control tobacco budworm, hornworms, and looper in tobacco. Contact the Ga. Dept. of Agriculture for more details.

A 24(c) label has been issued for the use of Command 3 ME to control annual grasses and broadleaf weeds in sweet potato. The Command 4EC formulation is being phased out. Contact the Ga. Dept. of Agriculture for more details.

Federal News

The EPA has issued a notice that will allow pesticide registrants to self-certify that product chemistry studies have been conducted according to EPA regulations. The new voluntary program applies only to physical/chemical characteristics of pesticides that are already registered with EPA. If you want more details, contact Dr. Sami Malak at 703-308-9365 or malak.sami@epamail.epa.gov

Just the Facts

Here is a little quiz to test your pesticide knowledge. The answers at the end of the newsletter.

If you answered more than three questions correctly, give yourself a gold star.

Canceled

The following pesticide products will be canceled at the request of the registrant unless the request is withdrawn by August 10, 1998. Unless there is additional regulation, products may continue to be sold for one year, and end-users may exhaust supplies according to label directions.

90-PAR
Boundary FD Herbicide
Casoron 4G
Chemscope Total Release Fogger
Clean Crop Tirfluranlin EC
Clean Crop Benomyl 50% DF Systemic Fungicide
Clean Crop Trifluralin 4EC
CMR Special Supreme Oil
Crabgrass Control Plus Lawn Food
Dermaquel Pet Shampoo with Synthetic Pyrethroids
Diazinon 4AG
Doom Weed Killer
Fremont 91217 Microbicide
Insecticide Liquid Diazinon 1%
Mist Sling-Shot Wasp and Hornet Killer
Misty Guard Insect Killer
Misty Total Release Fogger
Misty Bug Blaster
Multicide Intermediate 2232
Pratt Diazinon AG 4E Insect Spray
Pratt Diazinon
Prowl 3E Herbicide
Sevin Brand XLR Carbaryl Insecticide
SMCP Diazinon Insect Spray
SMCP Diazinon 12.5% Insect Spray
SMCP Diazinon 6-S
SMCP Diazinon RP 12.5 Insecticide
SMCP Diazinon RP 25E
SMCP Diazinon 4S
Verta Green Sprayable Herbicide for Pro Turf with Team

(FR, 2-11-98)

Another Opinion

One of our readers took exception to this statement in the January issue of GPMN; 'If we do not have enough sense to use pesticides according to the label, maybe the pesticides are too dangerous to be on the market.'

The reader responded, 'With that mentality, we might as well do away with all pesticides, automobiles, tobacco, fast foods, guns, sunshine, and anything else that would cause harm if don't have "enough sense" to use properly. It's not our role, nor the government's role, to protect people from their own stupidity.' I didn't identify this reader because I do not know if they expected to see their letter in print.

I encourage your response to anything that we print in the Georgia Pest Management Newsletter. Much of the newsletter expresses my point of view, and you may disagree. Differences in opinion are what drives intelligent public debate. After all, if everyone agrees with all of my pea-brained ideas, I should be in charge of everything (heaven forbid).

My opinion was an expression of frustration over people using pesticide improperly. Diazinon can no longer be used on golf courses, in part, because it was used to deliberately kill birds. An extension specialist in another state predicted the demise of carbofuran because growers were deliberately using it as bird killer; carbofuran is on the way out. Georgia leads the nation in people using Temik (aldicarb) to kill dogs, cats, and other vertebrates. Temik is a valuable chemical to Georgia growers, but continued misuse will give EPA the ammunition to take it off of the market.


The Answers

(Answers from U.S. EPA Pesticide Industry Sales and Usage, via The Label, 1-98)


Lose your back issues of GPMN? Use them to line your bird cage? Have no fear. You can find all of the back issues on the Web under 'What's New' at http://www.ces.uga.edu/Agriculture/entomology/pestnewsletter/newsarchive.html

NOTE: The mention of any product in this newsletter should not be interpreted as an endorsement of that product nor should the omission of any product be considered a negative statement.


Dear Readers:

The Georgia Pest Management Newsletter is a monthly journal for extension agents/specialists, and others interested in pest management news. It provides information on legislation, regulations, and other pest management issues.

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.

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

Back issues

Sincerely,
Paul Guillebeau, Assistant Professor & Extension Entomologist


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