Illinois Pesticide Review
November / December 2016
Turfgrass Manual Revised
The Illinois Pesticide Safety Education Manual – Turfgrass (39-1) was recently revised and is available through the University of Illinois Pesticide Safety Education Program web site, http://www.pesticidesafety.illinois.edu, at http://www.pubsplus.illinois.edu, or at most county Extension offices. Each manual costs $15 plus shipping and handling. The previous edition was dated October 2006.
Pesticide and turfgrass specialists on the University of Illinois campus have revised sections related to IPM, insects, weeds, diseases, and application equipment. New pests are identified and discussed, and the publication includes information about the latest in technology for spray applications and calibrations.
Noticeable is the inclusion of color images for many of the pests, giving applicators an easy-to-use reference for identifying and controlling the many turfgrass pests.
This manual is ideal for those maintaining athletic fields (including golf courses), for park districts, lawn care services, sod farm operators, and for others maintaining commercial and non-commercial areas. The manual serves as the source of information for those obtaining a turfgrass applicator license.
David Robson (mailto:email@example.com)
GMO Labeling Law
Non-GMO label on cereal display.
The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law was signed into law by President Obama on July 29, 2016, after Congress overwhelmingly passed the bill. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service will develop a national mandatory system for disclosing the presence of bioengineered material. USDA has up to two years to get new regulations into place.
There are several ways that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are allowed to be disclosed on food labels. Alternatives to printed information on the label are a symbol that will be developed and quick response (QR) codes that are read by smart phones and direct the shopper to a web site. Other options may be listing the URL to a web site or a phone number for small producers.
An interesting twist in the law allows organic foods to be labeled as non-GMO, but conventional foods cannot boast a non-GMO label. However, conventionally-produced meat and eggs can state that they were produced with non-GMO feeds. Meat and eggs produced with feeds from GMO plants do not have to disclose that GMO connection. It's uncertain whether vegetable oils and minor ingredients in food products that were produced by GMO plants but are not GMOs themselves will be required to be identified.
The law supersedes local or state laws concerning GMO labeling, including one in Vermont that went into effect on July 1, 2016. The law is posted at http://www.agriculture.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Mandatory%20Labeling%20Bill.pdf.
Phil Nixon (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dicamba Use in 2017
On November 9, 2016, EPA granted the long-awaited registration for XtendiMax™ with Vapor Grip™ Technology. This new dicamba formulation with an additive to reduce volatility will be used on Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean and cotton crops engineered to tolerate dicamba.
The full EPA press release is here:
Although there are other dicamba products pending registration, currently there is only one commercial product labeled for use on soybean. All other available formulations of dicamba are NOT labeled for use on soybean and are therefore illegal to use on soybean. The XtendiMax formulation was designed especially for this new in-crop use.
Dicamba is historically known for moving off target by way of vapor drift. Although volatility has been lowered with this new technology, the potential for vapor drift still exists. Certainly the potential for particle drift also exists if proper conditions are not present during application.
Be aware: the label clearly states that the applicator is responsible for avoiding spray drift at the application site. It is imperative that you follow all of the label's instructions and restrictions. Low volatility does not mean you can be lax with the label.
Widespread, unprecedented use of dicamba is expected in the 2017 season. Unfortunately, there is genuine concern that drift complaints will follow. EPA has expressed concern over this as well as the possibility of resistant weeds. As a result, the agency has granted the registration (supplemental labeling) for only two years. If significant problems ensue, the registration can simply expire.
In 2016, widespread dicamba injury occurred in southern states. Please note that the XtendiMax formulation was not available then and other formulations of dicamba were used illegally. The seed was available and difficult-to-control weeds with resistance issues made the temptation too great for some. In August, EPA issued this compliance advisory: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-08/documents/fifra-dicambacomplianceadvisory.pdf
Here are some noteworthy items found in the label. Some requirements are unique in that they aren't commonly found on traditional labels. For exact statements and specifics, consult label directions.
• No tank mixing with other pesticides is currently allowed. Yes, that will mean two trips across the field at times. No drift reduction agents are currently allowed either. It is anticipated that with testing some products will be allowed eventually and they will be listed at: http://www.xtendimaxapplicationrequirements.com/Pages/default.aspx.
• Currently, only one spray nozzle can be used (Tee Jet TTI11004), but others are expected to be approved and listed at the above web link.
• Aerial applications are not allowed.
• Wind speed must be between 3 and 15 mph. Do not apply if wind speeds are >10-15mph and blowing toward non-target sensitive crops.
• A minimum of 10 GPA must be used.
• The boom height must not exceed 24 inches above the canopy.
• A downwind in-field buffer in required.
• Don't apply if rain is expected within 24 hours.
• Don't travel faster than 15 mph.
• Sites must be surveyed for neighboring non-target susceptible crops and sensitive crop registries must be used.
For soybean growers, Aaron Hager has outlined some further considerations involving dicamba use in his recent Bulletin article: http://bulletin.ipm.illinois.edu/?p=3765.
Much responsibility will fall on the applicator. Here are some points to consider:
• The need to carefully read and follow all label directions has quite possibly never been this critically important.
• Off-target movement can result in significant injury. Many broadleaf plants are sensitive to extremely small amounts of auxin-type herbicides such as dicamba. Of particular sensitivity are tomato, pepper, and grapes. Sensitive areas could include orchards, vineyards, broadleaf crops such as vegetables, and soybean not genetically engineered to tolerate dicamba.
• Proper cleanout of sprayers is needed as left-behind residue can contaminate future applications and cause unintended injury.
• Having a reduced-volatility formulation does not eliminate particle drift. Steps still have to be taken to prevent drift.
• Proper stewardship will prolong dicamba's effectiveness.
• The continued allowance of the use of dicamba in dicamba-tolerant soybean will depend largely on those who apply it in the next two years.
Applicators will be expected to not only properly plan and execute an application while meeting all label guidelines, but they must also know the proximity to sensitive crops and watch the weather. This is the way it has always been; yet, the stakes seem a little higher now. The requirements are more specific. The potential for injury is great. Careful attention must be given to details when applicators have hectic schedules already.
When asked his thoughts on the upcoming spray season, one commercial field crops applicator stated that he is "worried to death." He said he will be open to more liability than ever before. Careful planning and good communication will be needed by all parties involved to help ensure successful applications.
One final suggestion is for applicators and growers to contact their insurance provider just to verify their coverage given the widespread damage in 2016. It's better to be safe.
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body's endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, are thought to cause endocrine disruption, including pharmaceuticals, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, DDT and other pesticides, and plasticizers such as bisphenol A. Endocrine disruptors may be found in many everyday products– including plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, cosmetics, and pesticides.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the US National Institutes of Health, supports studies to determine whether exposure to endocrine disruptors may result in human health effects including lowered fertility and an increased incidence of endometriosis and some cancers. Research shows that endocrine disruptors may pose the greatest risk during prenatal and early postnatal development when organ and neural systems are forming.
The Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses a two-tiered approach to screen pesticides, chemicals, and environmental contaminants for their potential effect on estrogen, androgen, and thyroid hormone systems.
The EDSP is mandated to use validated methods for screening and testing chemicals to identify potential endocrine disruptors, determine adverse effects, dose-response, assess risk, and ultimately manage risk under current laws. These methods or assays allow EPA to identify and characterize the endocrine activity (specifically, estrogen, androgen and thyroid) of pesticides, commercial chemicals, and environmental contaminants.
In the 1990s, some scientists proposed that certain chemicals might be disrupting the endocrine systems of humans and wildlife. A variety of chemicals have been found to disrupt the endocrine systems of animals in laboratory studies, and compelling evidence shows that endocrine systems of certain fish and wildlife, including lake trout, leopard frogs, and alligators, have been affected by chemical contaminants, resulting in developmental and reproductive problems.
Based on this and other evidence, Congress passed the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), which amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments in 1996. FQPA requires that EPA screen pesticide chemicals for their potential to produce effects similar to those produced by the female hormones (estrogen) in humans and gives EPA the authority to screen certain other chemicals and to include other endocrine effects.
In October 1996, EPA chartered a scientific advisory committee -- the Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Advisory Committee (EDSTAC) -- to advise EPA on establishing a program to carry out Congress's directives. The EDSTAC committee members were charged with developing consensus-based recommendations for a scientifically defensible screening program that would provide EPA the necessary information to make regulatory decisions about the endocrine effects of chemicals.
A two-tiered screening and testing process is utilized to ensure that only those chemicals that were screened to have potential endocrine activity would be advanced for further testing. Before initiating the screening process, EDSTAC recommended EPA establish a priority setting approach to determine which chemicals should undergo Tier 1 screening.
The purpose of Tier 1 screening is to identify chemicals that have the potential to interact with the estrogen, androgen or thyroid hormone systems. This is done by using a battery of assays. The purpose of Tier 2 testing is to identify whether there is an interaction with the endocrine system and establish a quantitative, dose-response relationship for any adverse effects that might result from that interaction.
Beginning in 2012, the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) began a multi-year transition to validate and more efficiently use computational toxicology methods and high throughput screens to allow EPA to more quickly and cost-effectively assess potential chemical toxicity.
The initiative, referred to as EDSP21 – or EDSP in the 21st century – aims to use computational or in silico models and molecular-based in vitro high-throughput screening assays to prioritize and screen chemicals to determine their potential to interact with estrogen, androgen, or thyroid hormone systems. In addition to leveraging advances in technology, the initiative also emphasizes coordination and timing of chemical evaluations in the regulatory process.
For pesticides, EPA's strategy is to coordinate the timing of issuance of EDSP Tier 1 test orders with the pesticide registration review program. By issuing test orders for an active ingredient before the start of the registration review process for the active ingredient, the results of any EDSP Tier 2 tests that might be needed for the active ingredient should be available for agency scientists to review when they are also examining the toxicology database to develop updated pesticide risk assessments.
Reviewing both sets of data concurrently reduces duplication of effort and leads to more expedient decisions. However, the time needed to complete current validated Tier 1 assays would make it difficult to provide data for some active ingredients early enough to be properly utilized into pesticide registration review.
It is envisioned that the EDSP21 program, along with existing data, will enable EPA to prioritize and identify EDSP Tier 1 information needs for pesticide active ingredient cases entering the registration review program over the next several (1-3) years.
EDSP21 also proposes a method to prioritize and screen non-pesticide active ingredient chemicals as well as pesticide chemicals. The approach is based on advances in computational modeling and molecular biology, understanding of endocrine-specific initiating events and adverse outcome pathways, as well as robotics for conducting rapid in vitro assays on hundreds of chemicals simultaneously.
EPA researchers developed the Endocrine Disruption Screening Program for the 21st Century Dashboard (EDSP21 Dashboard) to provide access to new chemical data on over 1,800 chemicals of interest. The purpose of the EDSP Dashboard is to help EPA evaluate chemicals for endocrine-related activity.
Phil Nixon, slightly modified from NIH and EPA fact sheets and internet sites.