The University of Georgia
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

The Georgia Pest Management Newsletter

Your source for pest management and pesticide news

September 1998 Volume 21, no. 6

What if there were more than 200,000 pounds of unwanted agricultural pesticides sitting in old barns and sheds around Georgia?

Do you think it is important to preserve 'old-time' seeds?

NEWS YOU CAN USE
The University of California reports that a single gene confers resistance to both nematodes and aphids.
Varroa mites are a serious pest for beekeepers, and resistance has been reported for the only legal pesticide.
Reduced pollination means decreased food production and increased prices.
Grant money alert!
Mixing incompatible materials or adding pesticide components in the wrong order can cause problems in the spray tank.

FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT
The EPA is asking for public comments regarding preliminary risk assessments for nine pesticides being reviewed under FQPA.
Times are changing for extension entomology; here are some results from a national survey.

PLOWING THE INTERNET
Are you interested in the history of pest management?
Impress your friends with the latest Crickets CD.
The University of Idaho has a new CD for weed identification. More than 2000 weeds and poisonous plants in North America are included.
"A Guide Book to US-EPA laws and Programs that Impact the Small Farm"

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Scientists report many common symptoms between people with drug dependency and people with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).
If your business controls indoor pests, you will want to pay attention to the new EPA regulation that will require manufacturers to reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in products from pesticide to shaving cream.
When northern pike appeared in a pristine California lake, the state government decided to use rotenone to prevent this voracious predator from possibly reaching spawning grounds of trout and salmon.

IPM NOTEBOOK
The USDA has released a report that indicates the primary pest management tactic for U.S. agricultural/horticultural is crop rotation or pest scouting.

BIOTECHNOLOGY

Three studies caution that transgenic crops may harm beneficial insects.
If you want to understand both sides of the biotechnology debate, these books may help.


What if there were more than 200,000 pounds of unwanted agricultural pesticides sitting in old barns and sheds around Georgia?

The potential health and environmental risks would be enormous! Georgia citizens should demand that these pesticides be cleaned up before they contaminate our streams and soil. The University and the Georgia Department of Agriculture should do something about it! Well, the truth is that the amount of agricultural waste pesticide in Georgia is much greater than 200,000 pounds, and we are doing something about it.

Georgia Clean Day to the rescue! The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, United Ag. Products, Ga. Farm Bureau, and others have teamed up to provide an inexpensive way to dispose of unwanted agricultural pesticides. At no cost to the person with the pesticides, Georgia Clean Day contracts with a hazardous waste company to properly dispose of the pesticides. Because we can collect a large volume of pesticides, the disposal costs are minimized. For around $250,000, this program will remove 200,000 pounds of waste pesticide that would otherwise end up in our streams and soil.

This program is a winner for everyone. People with pesticides can properly dispose of them (it is illegal to burn, bury, dump, or take ag pesticides to the landfill). The health and environmental risks for Georgia citizens everywhere is eliminated.

Although the program has been around for a few years, we never really had enough money. The U.S. EPA and Ga. EPD are to be thanked for keeping the program afloat during the lean years. This year, however, the Ga. Legislature gets a hearty pat on the back for fully funding the program. There will be six programs in various parts of the state. Watch this newsletter for a Clean Day schedule and locations.

But what about the other people with pesticides that they do not want? What can homeowners, pest-control operators, and other businesses do with their waste pesticides? First, try not to generate wastes. Buy and mix only the amounts that you need. Homeowners can generally take waste pesticides to their local landfill; contact your local extension office to find out.

Although Georgia Clean Day is restricted to agriculture for now, we can still help other businesses properly dispose of pesticides. The secret to Clean Day is organizing many farmers to dispose of a large amount of pesticide at one time; the economy of scale allows the disposal company to minimize the costs per pound. Work with similar businesses or your professional organization to achieve the same advantage; you will need to survey the cooperators to determine how much and what kinds of waste pesticides need disposal. Contact me for a copy of the survey that we use for Georgia Clean Day. Finally, you are ready to negotiate a price. You should contact several disposal companies; we can provide you with names and phone numbers of companies that will properly dispose pesticides. Expect to pay from one to two dollars per pound. You may need to organize a central location for collection, but some companies may pick up the pesticides from each business. Contact your extension service or the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture for more information.

Do you think it is important to preserve 'old-time' seeds?

In 1898, many experts predicted a food shortage as the U.S. population outstripped our capacity to produce wheat. The USDA discovered and introduced wheat varieties from Russia. Production rose from 60,000 to 20 million bushels per year, with increased drought tolerance and better taste. Rootstock for most U.S. peach varieties was originally collected from China in the nineteenth century. Rice collected from Japan near the turn of the century established rice production in Louisiana and Texas. As a matter of fact, nearly all of our major crops originated in other parts of the world. The USDA still seeks and preserves wild and antique varieties of crop plants. Any one of them may carry a genetic characteristic that could be crucial to food or fiber production. (Agricultural Research, 9-98)

News You Can Use

The University of California reports that a single gene confers resistance to both nematodes and aphids.

This is the first case in which one gene was associated with resistance to such distantly related pests. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 8-27-98)

Varroa mites are a serious pest for beekeepers, and resistance has been reported for the only legal pesticide.

Researchers in Florida have confirmed Varroa resistance to fluvalinate. Even though resistance has been confirmed, beekeepers should not give up on fluvalinate unless resistance is identified in their local area. Beekeepers should petition EPA to register another type of miticide to help manage resistance to fluvalinate. (APIS, 8-98)

Reduced pollination means decreased food production and increased prices.

Dr. Keith Delaplane suggests improving bee habitat and provides direction. Call 706-542-1765 to request a copy of his bulletin.

Grant money alert!

The USDA CSREES National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program (NRI) is pleased to announce that its Program Description for FY 1999 is now available on the NRI home page at http:/www.reeusda.gov/nri

The funding categories for Funding Year 1999 are as follows (funding in each category is rounded in millions of dollars):

Natural Resources and the Environment ($16.3M); Nutrition, Food Quality, and Health ($7.4M);
Plant Systems ($34.4M);
Animal Systems ($22.4M);
Markets, Trade, and Policy ($3.6M); and
New Products and Processes ($6.3M).

Mixing incompatible materials or adding pesticide components in the wrong order can cause problems in the spray tank.

To avoid problems, follow these guidelines. If you are not sure if pesticides or components are compatible, mix small amounts of the ingredients together in a glass jar. Use the same proportions that you would use in your ordinary spray mix. Shake the jar gently and wait for ten minutes. Look for large flakes, sludge, or other precipitates. A temperature change also indicates incompatibility.

Add pesticide ingredients in the following order:

compatibility agent (if needed)
wettable powders (first make a slurry with water in a bucket)
dry flowables or water dispersable granules
liquids (true liquids do not turn the mixture white)
emulsifiable concentrates (they will turn the mix white)
surfactants or crop oil

(The Great Lakes Veg. Growers News, 2-98)

If you can think of a good phrase to remember the order, I will publish it in a future edition. If it is really clever, I will also take credit.

Food Quality Protection Act

The EPA is asking for public comments regarding preliminary risk assessments for nine pesticides being reviewed under FQPA.

Risk assessments were released for azinphos-methyl, bensulide, ethion, fenamiphos, isophenfos, naled, phorate, profenfos, and terbufos. The Agency expects to refine the assessments as additional data are received. You can review the assessments at this Web site. http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/op/

You can comment until October 10, but do not use this opportunity for simple EPA bashing. I do not think the Agency wanted to release these preliminary assessments with all of their assumptions and worst-case scenarios, but EPA was more or less forced to do so. Read the assessments critically and point out anything that will improve the process. In a loud voice, we have informed our government representatives that we are concerned about FQPA. Here is an important opportunity for our input. Remember that we are not against food safety, and minimizing pesticide risks to children is a good idea. On the other hand, let's make sure that they know U.S. food is the safest in the world, and we do not want to screw it up chasing shadows.

Times are changing for extension entomology; here are some results from a national survey.

In the past 10 years, the number of extension entomologists had decreased or remained the same for more than two-thirds of the respondents. Full-time equivalents also decreased for nearly one-half of the respondents. Additionally, the expectations of extension entomology have increased as we try to serve a greater urban clientele. Remember the White House goal of 75% of U.S. acreage under IPM by 2000; extension entomologists are the IPM coordinators for 31 states. Guess who will be expected to implement that goal? (American Entomologist, Spring 1998)

Just for the record, I am an extension entomologist, the IPM coordinator, the Pesticide Applicator Training coordinator, and the state liaison for the National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program. I am not the only one with many hats.

I am worried that extension may be one of those things that you do not miss until it is gone. Someone may still provide the information that comes from extension, but it will not be free and unbiased. Do two things to keep extension around. 1) Vote in favor of resources for extension and 2) use extension resources. Extension can provide a university full of information and research, and we work for you.

Plowing the Internet

Are you interested in the history of pest management?

This Web site has information about key events that have had and continued to have--a significant impact on agriculture worldwide -- http://www.pestmanagement.co.uk/

Impress your friends with the latest Crickets CD.

MCRICKET is a comprehensive source for mole crickets (Gryllotalpidae) and the parasites, predators, and pathogens that help control this serious pest of Southern turfgrass. MCRICKET offers full-color photographs, biological control agents, and hundreds of links. Sorry, Buddy Holly is not featured. Visit http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~ent1/software/fasulo.htm for more information.

The University of Idaho has a new CD for weed identification.

More than 2000 weeds and poisonous plants in North America are included. The CD should be useful for beginners to experts. You can get the details at http://sdg.ag.uidaho.edu/rapid/

"A Guide Book to US-EPA laws and Programs that Impact the Small Farm"

http://www.udel.edu/pesticide/publications/smallfarm2.html

Health and the Environment

Scientists report many common symptoms between people with drug dependency and people with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).

MCS is important to pest management because people with MCS may be sensitive to a wide variety of pesticides applied in around their home or neighborhood. In some areas, lawmakers are considering a requirement of community notification whenever a commercial pesticide application is made.

MCS and drug dependency are both associated with headaches, fatigue, rashes, seizures, enhanced sensitivity after avoidance, genetic predisposition, lack of effective treatment, and disruption of social/family relationships. Society often judges drug dependency and MCS as signs of physiological weakness or dysfunction.

MCS can be triggered by a large exposure to a chemical (including pesticide) or by continued low exposures. No one knows why some people develop MCS and others do not. As with drug addicts, people with MCS will recover from symptoms if they are not exposed to the chemical for one to two weeks. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 8-27-98)

If your business controls indoor pests, you will want to pay attention to the new EPA regulation that will require manufacturers to reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in products from pesticide to shaving cream.

VOC are added to products to make them easier to use, cheaper to manufacture, or more effective. The problem is that volatile substances evaporate into the air.

A small exposure probably has little or no effect, but breathing VOC 24 hours a day may not be a good idea. The problem is exacerbated because we live much of our lives in buildings that are largely sealed from the outside. Outdoors, VOC contribute to air pollution as well; VOC emissions are a primary contributor to ground-level ozone. The EPA wants to reduce VOC by 90,000 tons per year or 20% less than the amount used in 1990.

A wide variety of products will be affected; here are a few: insecticides (foggers, sprays, etc.), oven cleaner, laundry pre-wash, bathroom cleaners, floor wax, and hair mousse. However, the EPA estimates that consumers will pay only 1% more for these products because of these new regulations. If you want the details, visit the EPA Web site http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg

(Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 8-27-98)

When northern pike appeared in a pristine California lake, the state government decided to use rotenone to prevent this voracious predator from possibly reaching spawning grounds of trout and salmon.

For the next six months, no one could drink, swim, or fish in the water. Needless to say, tourists found this combination unappealing and stayed away in droves. Additionally, a carcinogenic contaminant did not break down as expected; an outflowing creek was contaminated. In the end, the state of California agreed to pay this community more than $9 million. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 8-27-98)



IPM Notebook

Australia has released a comprehensive national strategy is built on a foundation of nine action points covering a variety of issues and including a clear call for reducing reliance on chemicals through development and adoption of Integrated Pest Management. Another key point promotes the "development and adoption of integrated farm, forest, and natural resource planning and management systems that minimize adverse impacts and use chemicals only as needed." (I guess they like IPM so much they had to say it twice)

The publication is intended as a bridge to implement the strategy and a road map so all involved can contribute to an ag-vet chemical use focused on a modern national consensus (sounds like their bureaucrats are stealing our lines). The strategy document is on the Web. (IPMnet NEWS, September '98) http://www.dpie.gov.au/dpie/armcanz/mavc/agvet.pdf

The USDA has released a report that indicates the primary pest management tactic for U.S. agricultural/horticultural is crop rotation or pest scouting.

The results are reported by crop category. For example, crop rotation to control pests was employed on 69 percent of the acres used for growing maize nationwide (80+ million ac) followed by pest scouting (47 percent). Scouting was the leading pest management practice for cotton at 75 percent of all acres, as it was on land growing fruits and nuts.

Look on the Web for more information -- http://www.usda.gov/nass/pubs/todayrpt/pestan98.txt

I would be very interested in a similar report for the household pest control industry. Pesticides are often necessary to control household pests, but I would bet that most pest control businesses also use nonpesticidal components in their programs.

Biotechnology

Three studies caution that transgenic crops may harm beneficial insects.

Researchers report that the mortality rate of lacewing larvae increased significantly after eating Bt-toxin similar to that found in genetically engineered corn. An earlier study indicated that green lacewings fed corn borers that had eaten Bt corn had a higher death rate and delayed development compared to the control group. More than 60% of the lacewings fed Bt-corn-reared corn borers died compared with fewer than 40% of the control group.

Finally, Scottish scientists found that ladybird beetles fed aphids reared on transgenic potatoes experienced reproductive problems and did not live as long as ladybirds fed aphids from ordinary potatoes (the control group). Egg production was reduced by more than one-third.

The field implications of these laboratory studies are unclear. Further research will look for similar results in field situations. It is clear, however, that the widespread use of transgenic plants will have some unexpected results. Let us proceed slowly. Remember that it seemed like a good idea to import kudzu. PANNA, 8-31-98

If you want to understand both sides of the biotechnology debate, these books may help.

Genetic Engineering, Dream or Nightmare? The Brave New World of Bad Science and Big Business. 1998. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho.

Argues the case against biotechnology claiming that scientific findings are being overlooked. Touches on transgenic foods, the commercialization of science, cloning, the large-scale release of transgenic organisms and influence exerted by multi-national corporations on the regulatory process. Access Publishers Network, 6893 Sullivan Rd., Grawn, MI 49637.

Field of Genes: Making Sense of Biotechnology in Agriculture. 1997. National 4-H Council. Underwritten by Monsanto and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. Outlines classroom curriculum and activities for teachers to use emphasizing the scientific method while focusing on genetics, biotechnology, and genetic engineering from an industry perspective.

National 4-H Council, 7100 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase, MD 20815
phone (301) 961-2800
http://www.fourhcouncil.edu/

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