Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Lester Spell has announced EPA approval of emergency exemptions on two pesticides that will help rice and corn producers throughout the state protect crops from damaging pests this year.

The products receiving emergency exemptions under Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) are:

Dermacor X-100 Seed Treatment manufactured by DuPont. Rice seed may be treated with Dermacor at a commercial seed treatment facility prior to being made available to the public to suppress the presence of rice water weevils. This exemption expires July 31, 2008.

Avitec Liquid Seed Treatment and Avitec Dry Powder Corn Seed Treatment manufactured by Arkion Life Sciences. Corn producers may treat corn seed with Avitec prior to planting to prevent blackbirds from consuming the seed. This exemption expires Aug. 15, 2008.

The rice water weevil is a destructive, early season insect pest in Mississippi rice and the loss of corn seed after planting due to large flocks of blackbirds has been extremely detrimental. Both have been continual problems for Mississippi rice and corn producers in past seasons.

The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce’s Bureau of Plant Industry has authority under Section 18 of FIFRA to obtain an exemption from EPA for a non-labeled used of a pesticide if significant losses of an agricultural commodity are likely and further alternative, labeled products are not available or effective.

The Bureau of Plant Industry is responsible for administration of these exemptions. Rice and corn producers can contact the Bureau at 1-662-325-3390 or toll-free at 1-888-257-1285.