Chlorpyrifos Tolerances for to be Revoked in 2022

As we have expected for a while, a final ruling on chlorpyrifos (Lorsban, Yuma, Warhawk and other generics) has been issued by the EPA. Earlier this week, the EPA provided a comprehensive document that addresses questions about this issue, which can be found at the link below.

The statements below, copied from that document, summarize the rationale for the decision and provide the date on which tolerances for all commodities will expire.

“Based on the currently available data and taking into consideration the currently registered uses for chlorpyrifos, EPA is unable to conclude that the risk from aggregate exposure from the use of chlorpyrifos meets the safety standard of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). Accordingly, EPA is revoking all tolerances for chlorpyrifos. This final rule is effective October 29, 2021. The tolerances for all commodities expire on February 28, 2022”.

Importantly, any commodity treated with chlorpyrifos during the 2021 growing season will not be affected by this ruling and can be sold into the marketplace. Another practical consideration is that the final allowable applications of chlorpyrifos would target peach borers and, if necessary, dogwood borer, this fall. Thereafter, it will not be available for pest management in spring 2022.

Any remaining stocks of products containing chlorpyrifos will need to properly disposed of. This may include the pesticide collection program operated by VDACS. Although their program for 2021 has ended, VDACS will be working with Cooperative Extension agents in the coming months to determine the locations where collections will be conducted in 2022, which appear to include most of the areas relevant to Virginia tree fruit growers. Mark Sutphin has provided me with two links that relate to the VDACS collection program, and I have copied them below, for your information. We will continue to provide updates on any new developments that may arise with respect to the disposal of remaining stocks.

Section 18 request for dinotefuran withdrawn

Following conversations with VDACS, some of my eastern tree fruit colleagues, and representatives from the companies that market Venom and Scorpion, I have notified VDACS that we wish to withdraw the request for a Section 18 Emergency Exemption for dinotefuran for the 2021 season. This will influence growers only in VA, PA, and WV, as several of the original participants (NC, NJ, MD) have declined to participate for the last 1-2 years. Further, I have notified VDACS that a request will not be submitted in 2022 or thereafter. There are several reasons for this. In the short term, one factor is that the EPA must respond to submissions regarding this request received during the public comment period in spring 2021, and would not likely accomplish this on time for its use this year. Importantly, a Section 18 exemption is intended to be a short-term response to an emergency situation. Given that we have received approval for dinotefuran use under a Section 18 every year since 2011, this process has more than run its course with the EPA.

Therefore, dinotefuran cannot be used in pome fruit. In stone fruit, it can be applied only at the rates labelled under its Section 3 registration, which are lower than allowed on the previous Section 18 labels. Whether a Section 3 registration for dinotefuran in tree fruit will eventually happen remains to be seen, and is a matter for the companies and the EPA.

As you know, a Section 18 for bifenthrin (Bifenture, Brigade) for BMSB in apples and stone fruit has been in place for the 2021 season since earlier this month, and will expire on Oct. 15. We hope that a Section 3 registration for bifenthrin will occur, but again, that remains to be determined.

We do have products, including bifenthrin, some of the other pyrethroids, and some of the neonicotinoids that can provide adequate protection against BMSB, particularly given that its current populations are considerably lower than what they were in the early years of the outbreak.

Section 18 for use of Brigade WSB, Bifenture EC, and Bifenture 10DF against BMSB in apples, peaches, and nectarines in Virginia

On August 5, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the renewal of a Section 18 Emergency Exemption for use of the bifenthrin-based products, Brigade WSB, Bifenture EC, and Bifenture 10DF against brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) in apples, peaches, and nectarines in Virginia. This exemption applies only to the products mentioned above. These and other bifenthrin-based insecticides have a Section 3 label for use in pears. The requirements of this Section 18 are that applications must be made only from the ground, at a rate of 0.08 to 0.2 lb active ingredient (a.i.) per acre, with not more than 0.5 lb a.i. per acre per season. These application rates equate to 5.12 – 12.8 fl oz of Bifenture EC, and 12.8 – 32.0 oz of Bifenture DF or Brigade WSB per acre. Seasonal maximums are 32 fl oz of Bifenture EC, 80 oz of Bifenture DF, and 72 oz of Brigade WSB. Multiple applications may be made per season, at a minimum retreatment interval of 30 days. The REI is 12 hours and the PHI is 14 days. This insecticide is extremely toxic to fish, aquatic invertebrates, and bees, and all precautions to avoid these exposures must be observed. Bifenthrin is considered one of the strongest insecticides against BMSB but can be disruptive to natural enemies of secondary pests. Consequently, we recommend its use in apples later in the season, when BMSB populations are highest. In peaches and nectarines, it can be useful until 14 days before harvest. This Emergency Exemption expires on October 15, 2021. A petition to support a Section 3 registration for bifenthrin in these crops is under review with the EPA.

Tree Fruit Pathology Survey for Dr. Srdjan Acimovic

Dr. Srdjan Acimovic, the new tree fruit pathologist at Virginia Tech’s Winchester Research and Extension Center has asked that I post this message for him. Srdjan wishes to conduct a survey targeting commercial growers of tree fruit and specialty crops in Virginia, which will provide him with their feedback on the economic significance of plant diseases in their individual operations and their opinions about the importance of plant disease research. Dr. Acimovic compiled the questions in this survey, which is intended to help direct and guide his research and extension programs in tree fruit and specialty crop pathology. The survey is anonymous and no personal or specific farm data will be collected. Your participation would be greatly appreciated, and you can do so by clicking on the text below.

Virginia Tree Fruit & Specialty Crop Disease Significance Survey