The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce has declared a crisis exemption on the pesticide Confirm 2F (tebufenozide) to control a sudden outbreak of beet and fall armyworms in sweet potato fields. Confirm 2F is manufactured by Dow AgroSciences.

“We don’t have an insecticide labeled for use in sweet potatoes that has a residual effect over the course of a full season,” said Dr. Lester Spell, commissioner of agriculture in Mississippi. “This product will provide the long-term control needed.”

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), a state can declare a crisis exemption for an immediate, non-labeled use of a pesticide if significant crop losses are expected and alternative products are not available or effective in controlling a pest.

A state may choose to declare a crisis exemption for a non-labeled use of a pesticide while awaiting a final decision from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a Section 18 emergency exemption under FIFRA.

Sweet potato harvesting in Mississippi begins in late August and usually extends into mid-November. The state has more than 16,500 acres of sweet potatoes.

Sweet potato producers can contact the department's Bureau of Plant Industry at 662-325-3390 for more information.

patti@mdac.state.ms.us