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.