EPA's review of crop protection chemicals under the Food Quality Protection Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act will allow U.S. cotton producers to keep most of their crop protection arsenal, although not without additional restrictions.

The review and re-registration process examined both ecological and occupational risks of pesticides (FIFRA) and pesticides used on foods (FQPA).

“Cotton came out of the whole process in pretty good shape,” said Frank Carter, senior scientist, pest management, National Cotton Council. “We'll have some restrictions on the chemicals we're able to keep. The ones that ended up in the lost column were not used, and the companies did not want to support continued use on cotton.”

Carter noted that chemicals used in cotton production were most affected by FIFRA. Some of those same products “didn't fare as well under FQPA. There were a number of food uses removed for the organophosphate (OP) products.”

Carter provided an update on re-registrations and new products for insect control at the 2003 Beltwide Cotton Conferences.

EPA maintained registrations for the following OPs — Lorsban, Orthene, Curacron, Bidrin, Di-Syston, Thimet and Def/Folex, while reviews of malathion and methyl parathion are incomplete at this time.

Guthion, Monitor and possibly Supracide will be phased out. Registrants are not supporting registration for Bolstar, Cygon, Diazinon and Imidan.

Here are some of the label changes for OP products, according to Carter.

Orthene — Now has a maximum of 4 lbs. ai/A (active ingredient per acre) per season. Requirements are lower in California, Arizona and some other states. The industry must move to water-soluble pellet and/or water-soluble packaging. Enclosed cockpits for aerial applications and more personal protective equipment (PPE) are required for handlers.

Curacron — now has a maximum rate of 0.75 lb. ai/A and 1 lb. for Lepidoptera (maximum of two applications per season). The seasonal maximum is reduced to 5 lbs. per acre; plus closed mixing and loading; enclosed cabs/cockpits; and pilots cannot mix and load on the same day as the application.

Bidrin — Seasonal maximum is reduced to 0.8 lb., of which 0.5 lb. can be used before Aug. 1; six-day re-entry interval (REI); phaseout of aerial application by 2005.

Di-Syston and Thimet — Will be maintained for soil applications only as a safener to Command herbicide applications.

DEF/Folex — It's no secret that EPA wanted the registrant to withdraw these products. “But the company wanted to keep it, and the cotton producer community wanted to keep it,” Carter said.

A provision under FIFRA allows EPA to weigh the risks and the benefits of a product, “and if the benefits are high enough, they can keep the product. The NCC also developed an extensive benefits statement. The value of the products was in the neighborhood of $200 million a year.”

Label rates for DEF/Folex were reduced to a maximum of 1.125 lbs. ai/A (1.85 lbs. in California and Arizona). A biomonitoring study will be conducted on the products. EPA cancelled ULV application and use of cottonseed oil as an additive.

Guthion — will undergo a four-year phaseout. Will be limited to grower use in Texas and in eradication programs. The maximum application rate was reduced from 0.75 lb. to 0.5 lb. The seasonal use was reduced from 3 lbs./A to 2 lbs./A.

Monitor — Will phase out by 2007.

Vydate (carbamate) — Maximum rate is 0.5 lb., while California and Arizona retain a 1.0 lb. ai/A. The seasonal maximum is 3 lbs. ai. EPA canceled soil broadcasts in cotton. Soil applications must be incorporated by water or mechanical means.

Phaser — An interim re-registration eligibility document was completed July 31, 2002, and a 60-day comment period ended Jan. 6, 2003. Phaser will be for use in California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. A maximum of 1.5 lbs. can be applied by ground and 0.75 lb. by air. The season maximum is 2 lbs. by ground and 1.5 lbs. by air. Closed systems mixing and loading are required for aerial applications of emusifiable concentrate.

Carter noted that EPA is expected to complete FIFRA risk mitigation for malathion, methyl parathion in 2003. Mitigation for malathion could include longer REI and buffer requirements. Cotton use for methyl parathion could be maintained, and closed systems and enclosed cockpits/cabs could be required.

EPA has yet to complete a cumulative risk assessment for OPs under FQPA, according to Carter. “A preliminary risk assessment has been drafted and commented on, and EPA is still deciding its position. But I don't think that cotton has a whole lot of liability because we don't have a lot of exposure on the food side.”

Other products awaiting review include the carbamates Temik, Lannate, Larvin and Furadan. Re-registration for synthetic pyrethroids is set for November 2003.

Other products awaiting review include cacodylic acid, Terrazole, Ethion, MSMA, Omite, Diuron, Goal and Blazer.

Nine new products have been registered within the past five years, many of which have qualified for EPA's reduced risk initiative, which provides for a faster track registration review. Those include:

Trimax 4F — from Bayer. Labeled as Provado in 1995. Target pests are aphids and plant bugs.

Tracer — from Dow AgroSciences, received a label in 1997 for control of tobacco budworm, bollworm, loopers and armyworms.

Confirm — from Dow AgroSciences, received a label in 2000. The insect growth regulator (IGR) controls beet armyworm, fall armyworm and cabbage looper.

Intrepid — from Dow AgroSciences, received a label in 2001. The IGR is used for control of beet armyworm, fall armyworm, loopers and budworm/bollworms.

Steward — from DuPont, received a label in 2001 for control of budworms/bollworms, loopers and plant bugs.

Centric/Actara — from Syngenta, received a label in 2001 for control of thrips, aphids, plant bugs and whiteflies.

Intruder — from DuPont, received a label in 2002 for control of aphids, plant bugs and whiteflies.

Knack — from Valent, USA, an IGR which received a label in 2000 for whitefly.

Courier — (formerly Applaud) is an IGR from Nichino which was developed by AgrEvo/Aventis. It received a label in 2002 for control of whitefly.

Six new products could come on the market in the next three years:

Denim — from Syngenta. Section 18 label status from 1999 to 2002 for control of resistant tobacco budworm and beet armyworm. Full registration could come this year.

S-1812 — from Valent. IGR for control of beet armyworm, fall armyworm, budworms/bollworms and loopers. Registration could come in 2004.

Prolex (DE 225) — from Dow AgroSciences. A fourth-generation synthetic pyrethroid which controls pests in the pyrethroid spectrum. Label status is expected in 2003 with product launch in 2004.

Novaluran (no trade name) — from Uniroyal, is a chitin inhibitor, related to Dimilin for control of plant bugs. Label status is unknown at this time.

Fulfil — from Sygenta. Could receive a label this year. For control of aphids and possibly whitefly.

Regent — from BASF. Controls plant bugs and thrips. Label status is uncertain.