Illinois Pesticide Review
September / October 2011
In This Issue
- Welcome Travis Cleveland
- Online Training Changes: Reduced Price and Spanish Translation
- Groups Express Concern About Pesticide Safety Education
- And the Winner of Our Facebook Contest is...
- Iowa Reports First In-field Resistance to Bt Corn
- EPA Rodenticide Actions
- Imprelis Update
- 3 Additional Clinics this Early Fall
Welcome Travis Cleveland
Travis Cleveland is the newest member of the Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP). The PSEP team provides education to all pesticide users throughout the state on pesticide use, safety and Worker Protection Standards.
Travis recently joined the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois as an Extension Specialist. He will be presenting topics related to plant pathology at the PSEP training clinics. He will also be handling disease identification and control recommendations.
Travis received his B.S. degree in Horticulture and recently completed an M.S. degree in Crop Sciences from the University of Illinois. His contact information follows. Please join us in welcoming Travis!
University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences
S-408 Turner Hall
1102 South Goodwin Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
Online Training Changes: Reduced Price and Spanish Translation
The University of Illinois PSEP Program has made a couple of changes to the online training option for private pesticide applicators. In an effort to increase our web traffic, we have dropped the registration price from $25 to $15. Register today at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/privatepsep/ to take advantage of this reduced rate. Users will have access to the training materials for one year from the date of purchase.
This winter (November - March), we are planning to have 20 face-to-face training clinics across the state for private applicators. However, there are approximately 9,000 private applicator's licenses that will be up for renewal. It is anticipated that these clinics will be quite full. The online training allows for applicators to study for the test whenever and wherever they desire. No need to leave home on those icy days! Testing must be done on paper at a testing location. See below for details.
In addition, if you choose the online training option, you can complete the program's eight modules at your own pace. Modules include: Understanding Pesticides; Pesticides in the Environment; Integrated Pest Management; Human Pesticide Protection; Labels and Labeling; Equipment & Calibration Part 1; Equipment & Calibration Part 2; and Pesticide Laws and Regulations.
New this training season is a Spanish translation of the online private training. Capacitación Para Aplicadores Privados can be accessed at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/privatepsep_sp/. The price for this training is also $15. In past years, face-to-face General Standards training clinics were offered for Spanish speaking clientele. Due to low attendance and increased travel demands on our part, these clinics will not be held this year. This online course provides a training option for those wishing to become licensed. The website allows participants to learn at their own pace in their own language. However, please note that tests are available in English only.
The Private PSEP training is primarily for farmers, but much of the information is the same as the content of the General Standards face-to-face trainings and manual. Using this private training to study for the General Standards test would be helpful.
In addition to the website, other Spanish training materials include the Spanish General Pesticide Safety Manual and the Bilingual General Standards Workbook. Both can be purchased at www.pesticidesafety.illinois.edu.
Face-to-face training clinics will be offered in English only and registration is $30 (private) and $40 (commercial). Please keep in mind that testing will not be offered online. Participants will still need to take the test in person. You can attend a test-only clinic or make an appointment with the Illinois Department of Agriculture at 800-641-3934.
As always, testing will be held in conjunction with the training clinics. Our clinic schedule, which includes test-only dates, will be available after November 1, 2011, at www.pesticidesafety.illinois.edu. The Illinois Department of Agriculture will mail out retest and renewal letters at that time as well.
Groups Express Concern About Pesticide Safety Education
Scientists with the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), the American Phytopathological Society (APS) and the Entomological Society of America (ESA) expressed concern about the precarious state of the U.S. Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP). Funding for the program has plummeted in recent years and is now in danger of evaporating completely.
As the nation's primary pesticide applicator training and education program, PSEP is responsible for ensuring the safety of applicators, other workers and the public, for protecting the environment, and for providing guidance in the proper use and security of pesticides.
"In addition to certifying applicators and delivering education on the safe use of pesticides, the program today is tasked to provide guidance on a wide range of pesticide-related topics – from avoiding spray drift and minimizing development of pest resistance to protecting endangered species," says Lee Van Wychen, science policy director for WSSA.
Collectively, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are responsible for ensuring that the nation's pesticide training needs are met. Since 1965, federal funds to support PSEP and its coordinators have been provided annually by EPA through USDA's Cooperative Extension System. In fiscal year 2000, for example, EPA provided $1.9 million for PSEP, but in fiscal year 2011, EPA funding has been eliminated.
The only remaining source of federal funding for PSEP is $500,000 mandated by the Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act (PRIA II), which translates to only $10,000 per state. However, this funding will end in fiscal year 2012 when the statutory authority of PRIA II expires. To compound the problem, most states have significantly reduced their funding for the personnel and basic services needed to support pesticide education through the Cooperative Extension System.
Statistics show close to 900,000 private and commercial applicators holding PSEP certification in 2010, including more than 100,000 new certifications and more than 225,000 applicators pursuing recertification. In addition, the program has educated more than a million other pesticide users.
"With nearly a 75 percent reduction in federal support for PSEP over the past decade, there is no question that states will not be able to deliver the same quality of PSEP training or to certify the same number of individuals," says Carol Ishimaru, APS president.
Earlier today, WSSA released a technical paper on PSEP that addresses its history, goals and funding. The paper also discusses proposed ideas for ensuring more stable financial resources for PSEP in the future. Examples include:
• Allocating additional dollars from federal and state pesticide product registration fees to cover education on the proper use of pesticides.
• Pursuing grants from pesticide companies, commodity groups, conservation groups and others with an interest in pesticide safety education.
• Changing policies, regulations and statutes to better support funding. For example, most states direct fines for improper use of pesticides into their general funds. These dollars would be an especially appropriate source of support for pesticide safety education.
"There is no one solution to the increasingly precarious state of the Pesticide Safety Education Program," Van Wychen says. "A grassroots effort is needed by stakeholders at the state and national level to overcome policy and regulatory impediments and to ensure the program's sustainability and focus."(Submitted by David Robson from Greenbook.net, September 14.)
And the Winner of Our Facebook Contest is...
Don't forget that IL-PSEP has a Facebook page. We welcome you to "like" us. We try to put interesting information up at least twice a week, sometimes seeking opinions. You can also post questions or comments about pesticide issues.
In the last issue of IPR, we had a contest hoping we could get 10,000 people to like us by offering a free registration at one of our upcoming pesticide clinics for 2011-2012. We fell a little short of the 10,000 but appreciate everyone who did sign up. The winner of our contest was Josh Bailey, and we'll be contacting him about using his free registration.
Look for additional contests in IPR or on our Facebook page. Who knows what the next freebie will be.
Iowa Reports First In-field Resistance to Bt Corn
The first documented case of in-field resistance to Bt corn targeting rootworms has been confirmed recently in Iowa. Aaron Gassman, Iowa State University entomologist, and other researchers had received multiple reports of high damage to Bt corn in northeastern Iowa.
The group collected adults and eggs from the area. Rearing the larvae in the laboratory on Bt hybrids revealed that the larvae were able to survive on Bt corn hybrids expressing the Cry3Bb1 toxin at levels similar to survival on non-Bt corn.
It has been speculated that insects would eventually build up resistance to the Bt protein over time since corn rootworm Bt toxins are not high dose toxins, which means many larvae survive exposure and reach adulthood.
The question for entomologists now becomes determining how these insects are able to survive toxin exposure by discovering what combination of physiological and behavioral traits are occurring.
The majority of corn planted in the U.S. is Bt corn, and the Cry3bb1 toxin is the major one deployed against rootworms. There is no "putting the genie back in the bottle," and resistance in these areas is a problem that won't go away.
This situation will require producers, agronomists and crop advisors to be more diligent in scouting crops to be on the front line of defense against this new development.
EPA Rodenticide Actions
EPA is moving forward with actions announced in June to ban the sale to consumers of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides, as well as consumer rodenticide products that use loose bait and pellets.
First-generation anticoagulant rodenticides include warfarin; these products are relatively low in toxicity to humans and pets and use vitamin K as an antidote. Second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides also use vitamin K as an antidote, but are much higher in toxicity to humans, pets, and wildlife. These changes are a follow-up to regulations enacted in 2008 on professionally (occupationally) applied rodenticides.
EPA is convening a meeting of the Agency's science advisory committee this fall to obtain input on a Notice of Intent to Cancel (NOIC) certain rodenticide products that have not adopted the Agency's new safety measures. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) will consider the effect of the proposed cancellations on health and the environment and will review the scientific assessment underlying EPA's NOIC.
The NOIC will discuss why the Agency believes certain rodenticide products no longer meet the pesticide statute's registration standard and may cause unreasonable adverse effects on human health and the environment when used in accordance with the label and accepted widespread practice. EPA will seek comments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the SAP prior to issuing the NOIC to the manufacturers of the nonconforming rodenticide products.
The public will have an opportunity to provide comments at the FIFRA SAP meeting, which is scheduled to be held on November 29 through December 1, 2011 in EPA's Potomac Yard South Building in Arlington, Virginia. For details, see EPA's announcement of this meeting in the September 7, 2011 Federal Register at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-09-07/html/2011-22843.htm.
In 2008, EPA issued the Risk Mitigation Decision for Ten Rodenticides, which informed rodenticide producers of risk reduction measures needed for rodenticide products to continue to meet the FIFRA registration standard. These include:
Bait stations - All rodenticide bait products marketed to residential consumers must be sold as a block or paste bait and packaged with an EPA-approved bait station.
Bait size limitation - Products marketed to residential consumers may contain no more than one pound of rodenticide bait.
Active ingredients used - While several pesticide active ingredients will still be allowed on the homeowner market, products marketed to residential consumers will no longer contain the most toxic and persistent pesticide active ingredients; that is, the second-generation anticoagulants brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum, and difethialone. Products containing these active ingredients will only be available for commercial use and for residential use by professional pest control operators.
EPA gave manufacturers of rodenticide products three years to develop and adopt the risk reduction measures. All but three manufacturers have done so voluntarily The three noncompliant manufacturers are Reckitt Benckiser Inc., makers of D-Con, Fleeject, and Mimas; Spectrum Group, makers of Hot Shot; and Liphatech Inc., makers of Generation, Maki, and Rozol rodent control products. EPA will pursue cancellation against these manufacturers' affected products in accordance with FIFRA.
EPA emphasizes that a number of household rodent control products that meet the Agency's new, more protective risk reduction goals are available to consumers. When used as directed on the label, these products can help consumers control household rodents while greatly reducing accidental exposure to children, pets and wildlife. These new, more protective products are listed on EPA's website at http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/reregistration/rodenticides/rodent-bait-station.html.
Professional rodenticide changes enacted in 2008 to be completed by June, 2011, included packaging of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides in larger amounts. These regulations require the packages to contain at least 8 lbs. in agricultural outlets and 16 lbs. in other venues. This is to make them too large and expensive for purchase by most residential consumers. In addition, these rodenticides can no longer be sold in stores typically utilized by residential customers. Those sold in agricultural outlets must be labeled for use only in agricultural applications.
Baiting has to be within 50 feet of a building, with a building defined as a permanent structure having four walls and a roof. There are also added requirements for these rodenticides to be used in bait stations, making them less likely to be contacted by humans, pets, and wildlife. These second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides were not changed to restricted-use pesticides to make it easier for agricultural and wildlife conservation uses to continue.
Rodenticides are utilized for rat and mouse control in some conservation programs to help declining, threatened, and endangered species recover. It is common for native island wildlife, particularly birds, and island nesting birds to be flightless, nest on the ground, or otherwise raise young in ways that make them susceptible to food and space competition as well as predation from rats and mice.
These are exotic rodent species that colonized the islands from passing ships. In addition, rats and mice can attract predatory birds that then also feed on local or nesting wildlife. Rodenticides are more effective and labor-saving than traps and other rodent control methods in some of these conservation programs.
For more information on EPA's review of rodenticides, please visit http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/mice-and-rats/.
For further information on the FIFRA SAP meeting, please visit docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0718 at http://www.regulations.gov.
For additional information on the pesticide cancellation process, please visit http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/regulating/cancellations.htm.
(Submitted by Phil Nixon from a modified EPA News Release, EPA Fact Sheets, Pest Management Professional magazine June 2008, Audubon magazine September-October 2011.)
Photos courtesy of Dr. Bruce Branham, University of Illinois.
2011 will be remembered as the Year of Imprelis, a herbicide released this year by DuPont with much fanfare for its control of broadleaf weeds in the landscape. All reports stated that it did a great job. Unfortunately, serious things happened 6 to 8 weeks after application and the internet went wild.
While there is still discussion, finger pointing, and more than a few puzzled homeowners, applicators, and pesticide experts, Imprelis appears to have caused some major damage to Norway spruce and white pines, including death. The almost two-month lag time makes diagnosis difficult, but like Sherlock Holmes said, "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." And that left Imprelis as the common denominator.
On August 4, DuPont voluntarily withdrew registration for the herbicide, essentially stating that it should not be used. Dealers and applicators were sent notices by the company; DuPont also set up a website and a hotline for returns, refunds, and resolutions.
Not to be outdone, a week later (on August 11) the US-EPA issued a Stop Sale, Use or Removal Order due to inadequate warnings and directions for use on the product label. Prior to this, many state regulatory agencies in the Midwest issued warnings about the product.
Since Imprelis was not available directly to homeowners, DuPont released a letter on September 6 to landscape maintenance and lawn care professionals regarding a claims process for affected plants covering removal, disposal, replacement, and maintenance. However, claims must be filed by November 30, 2011. (NOTE: If the damage is suspected but not fully realized, it is still important to file a claim before November 30, 2011)
Several editors have tried to get more information from DuPont about the situation, but to date the company won't respond to specific inquiries.
LESSONS TO BE LEARNED:
1. Even though US-EPA requires rigorous testing and documentation, problems can still occur.
2. Not all landscape plants were susceptible. White pines and Norway spruce were prone to major damage while Scots and Austrian pines and Blue spruce weren't affected, not to mention most deciduous trees and shrubs that normally scream at the first inkling of chemical. This brings to bear the issue of how many different plants need to be studied to determine negative effects; you can bet that more plants will be studied with further new products.
3. Not all pesticide damage shows up within a matter of days or a week or two. Most pesticide applicators and experts would have had a hard time confirming pesticide injury 6 to 8 weeks later, especially when other surrounding woody ornamentals weren't affected.
4. The internet and social media were helpful in determining the cause and providing insight to others throughout the Midwest. One minute you're wondering what might be causing the problems, and then an advisory pops up on the screen or smart phone. Gone are the days of waiting months or even years to share problems and concerns. That's great for pesticide users.
5. Not all state and federal agencies realized a problem was occurring, partially because injury reports weren't shared with the appropriate personnel. If you suspect pesticide injury, don't hesitate to contact the appropriate agency, even if a resolution is agreed upon. If a product is causing injury, everyone should be aware of the consequences.
6. Don't put all your eggs in the proverbial one basket when dealing with new products. Publicity may be great, but problems may occur. Read and follow all directions to the letter, especially when talking about soil types.
3 Additional Clinics this Early Fall
There are 3 additional clinics scheduled for State of Illinois Agencies. As space permits, registration may be open to the general public.
Registration begins October 3, 2011
- General Standards (GS) training and testing – day one
- Rights-of-Way (ROW) training and testing – day two
October 25-26, 2011 – Utica
740 E. U.S. Rt. 6
Utica, IL 61373
November 2-3, 2011 – Springfield
IL Dept. of Agriculture Bldg.
State Fairgrounds – Gate 11
801 E. Sangamon
Springfield, IL 62794
November 15-16, 2011 – Mt. Vernon
222 Potomac Blvd.
(I-57 & Rt. 15)
Mt. Vernon, IL 62864
Testing Time: 12:30p-4:00p
To register and/or order study materials:
www.pesticidesafety.illinois.edu or call 800-644-2123