West Virginia University

Extension Service

January 2001

Dr. John F. Baniecki, Extension Specialist in Plant Pathology/Entomology,
Pest Management Program

The Final Argument Concerning the Diazinon Phase-Out Has Been Reached

Alll indoor uses (except mushroom house treatment) will be canceled March 2001. All retail sales for these uses will stop December 31, 2002. Manufacturing for all lawn, garden, and turf uses stops June 1, 2003. Production of lawn/garden/turf products will be reduced by 25 percent in 2002 and 50 percent in 2003. Sales and distribution for these products will stop August 1, 2003. All registrations for these uses will be canceled December 31, 2004, and the registrants will initiate a buy-back program for remaining retail stock..

The Agency will cancel registrations for alfalfa, celery, red chicory, citrus, coffee, cotton, cowpeas, cucumbers, dandelions, forage grass, lespedeza, parsley, parsnips, peanuts, pecans, potatoes, rangeland grasses, sorghum, soybeans, strawberries, sugarcane, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, tomatoes, and turnips. Agricultural registrations will remain for about 40 mostly minor uses for which there is no alternative to diazinon. (Pesticide & Environmental News, 12-7-00)

According to the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy (not a govenment agency), Annual Pesticide Use in the U.S. Increased by 93 Million Pounds from 1992-1997

 Increases were primarily driven by economic and environmental factors. A six-million pound increase in herbicide use was attributed to a federal program that encourages reduced tillage in agricultural production (erosion, not pesticides, is the #1 environmental concern for surface water). A two-million pound insecticide increase in cotton was associated with the boll weevil eradication program (after boll weevil is eradicated from an area, insecticide use on cotton drops dramatically). Potato farmers used 37 million more pounds of fungicides and desiccants to protect the crop from a new blight fungus. The single largest increase (48 million pounds) was triggered by a reduction in the price that farmers received for processing oranges. In response, farmers are applying greater quantities of a less-expensive pesticidal oil.

Increased pesticide use was not the rule across the board. The introduction of new pesticide products reduced overall pesticide use by 17 million pounds. The introduction of cotton with the Bacillus thuringiensis gene (the toxin kills caterpillars) reduced insecticide use by two million pounds.

You can see the entire report on the web at http://www.ncfap.org under "Pesticide Use Program." (Pesticide & Environmental News, 12-7-00)

The The New Federal Standards for Organic Foods Have Been Published

The final rule becomes effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register (Dec. 21), and you will start to see products with the organic label by this summer. Farms with more than $5,000 of organic sales must be certified as organic by an approved state agency or USDA. Producers with less than $5,000 in organic sales are exempt from certification. In addition to restrictions on pesticides, there are also regulations concerning the types of fertilizers and the length of time (3 years) since non-approved substances were applied to the field. You can find a lot more information at http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/

According to Kline and Company Consultants, Genetically Engineered Crops Will Be Responsible for a 13-Million-lb-A-Year Reduction in Insecticides and a 45-Mill-lb-Reduction in Herbicide Use by 2009

The biggest reduction is expected to come from the utilization of genetically engineered corn to control corn rootworm. Currently, an enormous amount of soil insecticide is applied to control rootworm. Unfortunately, much of this pesticide is unnecessary, but it must be applied because there is no way to predict where rootworm problems will occur. Engineered cotton is already reducing the amount of insecticide applied to cotton. Further reductions are predicted as growers shift from pre-plant/pre-emergence herbicides to over-the-top applications of glyphosate and other herbicides to crop plants engineered to tolerate herbicides. You can find the whole story on the web http://www.klinegroup.com/Press/6_20001024.htm

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The West Virginia University Cooperative Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and West Virginia counties cooperating. Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution.