Louisiana received approval for its Section 18 request on June 14 and Mississippi on June 19. Entomologists report that aphid populations have been building in cotton with no sign of the naturally occurring fungus that can sometimes have an impact on the pest in mid-summer.

Growers may apply Furadan 4F using ground or aerial equipment at a rate of 8 ounces of product, or 0.25 pounds active ingredient per acre. Nor more than two applications, not exceeding a total of 0.5 pounds active ingredient per acre, may be made under the exemption.

“There are no prerequisites for Furadan 4F application to control aphids as in previous years,” said Ralph Bagwell, Extension entomologist with the LSU AgCenter. “There are, however, specific use provisions outlined in the label. A copy of these provisions and a label must be in the users possession at the time of application.”

The Section 18 exemption prohibits application of the product to water, including immediately before or during irrigation, or where run-off is likely to occur to aquatic habitats. Also restricted are aerial applications within 200 yards, or ground applications within 20 yards, of rivers, streams, lakes and ponds.

Although EPA granted this year’s requests for the emergency exemption, officials indicated the agency may not continue the practice.

“EPA understands that over the past years, cotton producers have grown reliant on Furadan for aphid control,” said James Jones, deputy director for pesticide programs for EPA. “However, due to a variety of factors, EPA supports a transition away from this means of control.”

Jones said EPA is requiring state Departments of Agriculture and Extension experts to undertake and support a communications and outreach effort to evaluate the availability and efficacy of registered cotton aphid control products and present the information to growers, crop consultants, and others.

“EPA believes that strengthening awareness about alternative controls will support the broad adoption of alternative controls for this use,” he says. “In line with this policy objective, EPA is establishing a non-binding goal for this use season that 25 percent of all cotton aphid treatments in Mississippi involve materials other than Furadan.”

e-mail: dmuzzi@primediabusiness.com