Agrichemical and Environmental News -- Dec95
A monthly report on pesticides and related environmental issues

Issue No. 118, December 1995

Open Forum:
In an attempt to promote free and open discussion of issues, The Agrichemical and Environmental News encourages letters and articles with differing views. To include an article, contact:
Catherine Daniels, Food and Environmental Quality Laboratory, Washington State University, Tri-Cities campus, 2710 University Drive, Richland, WA 99352-1671. Phone: 509-372-7495. Fax: 509-372-7491. E-mail:

In This Issue

News and Notes The Value of Pesticide Use on Asparagus
Book on Minor Crops Published Aldicarb Use on Potatoes
Available Reports Pesticide Training Season Here
U.S. Pesticide Industry Analyzed in Report EPA's Table II
Carol Weisskopf Allan Felsot
Officially Unofficial Washington Commission on Pesticide Registration
Pesticide Poisonings in Washington State Federal/State Issues

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News and Notes

Note: The AENews is now accessible from the World Wide Web via the Washington State Pesticide Page. The address for the page is:

Enter this address carefully, paying close attention to punctuation and spacing (no spaces between parts of the address). Some readers may experience difficulties accessing the site. These are believed to be related to the Internet and to on-line services, not the web site. If you are having a problem accessing the web page, please inform Catherine Daniels (ph: 509-372-7495, fax: 509-372-7491, e-mail:

Note: The address has changed for WSU Prosser and for Ellen Bentley, WSU diagnostic plant pathologist. The county has changed the address for WSU Prosser and for Ellen Bentley from a route and box number to a street address. That new address is WSU Prosser, Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, 24106 N. Bunn Road, Prosser, WA 99350-9687.

Pesticide research

The Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration plans to release a Request for Proposals at the end of January. Those interested in conducting studies or activities resulting in registration of pesticides important to Washington and the Pacific Northwest are encouraged to apply. For information on how to obtain matching funds from the commission, contact Catherine Daniels at 509-372-7492.

Mint survey underway

The Washington mint industry is conducting a survey to determine the agrichemicals used on mint, relative importance of insect, disease, nematode and weed pests and the structure of the industry. Results of the survey will be used to support Section 18s, prioritize pest control needs and increase familiarity with pest control issues on Washington mint. The project is being conducted cooperatively with the Washington Mint Commission, Mint Industry Research Council and Washington State University.

Phosdrin is dead

All U.S. registrations of pesticide products containing mevinphos (Phosdrin) were canceled December 1, 1995. Amvac Chemical Corporation has developed a recall program to remove product, both opened and unopened containers, from the marketplace. The last day Amvac will accept returned product is July 27, 1996. For more information, contact Amvac at 800-205-5330. Although use of mevinphos will be illegal after November 30, 1995, EPA has proposed to delay revoking mevinphos tolerances until May 31, 1996. (Pest. & Toxic Chemical News, Nov. 29)

Columbia Basin water examined

The United States Geological Survey is completing a project on pesticides and nitrates in ground and surface waters in the Columbia Basin. Findings of the nitrate study are presently available and may be ordered from the USGS or accessed on the World Wide Web at The USGS will publish results of a study of pesticides in Columbia Basin groundwater underlying irrigated agriculture before January. By mid-January, USGS will publish results of a study of pesticides in four surface water sites (two irrigated, two dryland) in the Columbia Basin. For more information, contact Sandy Williamson at USGS at 206-593-6530, ext 235 or by E-mail at

Pesticide database

WSU FEQL Pesticide Information Center offers a fee-for-service computerized guide to every pesticide product registered in Oregon and Washington. This service will become available via the Internet or World Wide Web in January or February. Users of the database will be able to determine the crops and/or pests on the label for about 14,000 registrations for both states. The database also contains about 560,000 crop/pest combinations that are on the 14,000 labels. A new feature of the system will be a guide to all pesticide tolerances for Northwestern crops.

Anyone involved in recommending use of pesticides, pesticide sales, representing growers or food processors is a potential beneficiary of the system. The system currently serves as the guide to registrations for the Oregon and Washington Departments of Agriculture and is the official list of what is and is not registered in the two states. The price of subscription has not yet been determined, but the fee will be on a cost recovery basis. For information on how to subscribe to the pesticide database, contact Catherine Daniels at 509-372-7492.

Source: University of Arizona Pesticide Newsletter -- Dave Baker

Poisonings in 1994 most often at home

Most U.S. human poisonings in 1994 occurred at home and involved children under six years of age, according to an American Association of Poison Control Centers report.

Poisonings in the United States are monitored through the Toxic Exposure Surveillance System (TESS), and are compiled by the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

Sixty-five poison control centers in 44 states and the District of Columbia, serving 83% of the U.S. population, or 216 million people, participated in the 1994 study. The report includes 1,926,438 human exposures of all types.

Of human exposures in 1994, 90.4% occurred at a residence. In 4% of the cases, multiple patients were involved in the exposure. Forty% of the cases occurred in children younger than three years of age, while 54% occurred in children younger than six years of age. In the majority of poisoning reports, children younger than six years comprised only 3.4% of fatalities, while 59% of poisoning fatalities occurred in individuals 20 to 49 years of age.

As for pesticides implicated in the poisonings, the breakdown is as follows: fungicides were implicated in 1,347 incidents, herbicides in 8,262 incidents, insecticides in 61,882 incidents, and rodenticides in 16,478 incidents.

Study shows status of CA organic industry

Results of a University of California Cooperative Extension study show that the vast majority of California organic growers produce fruit, nut or vegetable crops.

The study found fruit and nut crop growers make up 65% of the total growers in the state, while organic vegetable growers comprise about 34% of the total.

Other findings in the report:

Chilean Presence

In 1980, Chile exported more than 7.5 million cases of fruit to North America. In 1994, Chile set a new record for exports to North America, surpassing 58.5 million cases. Today, Chile provides close to 5% of the fruit consumed in North America, or 15% of all fruit sales in pounds during January through April. And, with higher average selling prices for Chilean fruit vs. bananas and apples, Chile accounts for an even larger share of sales revenues and produce department profits. Here's a look at Chile's share of the U.S. market by item for the 1994 crop year. Figures listed in percentages:

CommodityChileAll Other
Nectarines, peaches892
Table grapes2971
Source: USDA -- The Packer

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The value of pesticide use on asparagus

A two-year joint effort by the National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program and the Washington Asparagus Commission to assess the benefits associated with the use of pesticides on asparagus is nearing completion. Perhaps the most salient point coming from the assessment is that the asparagus industry is heavily dependent on the use of pesticides. Control of insects and diseases is almost entirely dependent on insecticides and fungicides. Most weed control is achieved with herbicides.

The assessment covered the three primary asparagus producing states of California (32,055 acres), Washington (25,000 acres) and Michigan (19,500 acres). Many aspects of crop production are common to the three states, with two important exceptions being harvest practices and end use of the product. Nearly 100% of California asparagus is produced for the fresh market; most of Washington asparagus is processed; and a simple majority of Michigan asparagus is canned, with nearly equal amounts sold for freezing or the fresh market.

There are significant differences in crop protection between the states. Michigan has greater disease pressure and significant asparagus beetle pressure during harvest. Asparagus aphid is not an economic problem in Michigan. Asparagus beetle is a major problem in Washington and California. Weed control is a major issue in all states, with each state having a somewhat different complement of weeds.

There are about 20 pesticides of consequence used on asparagus _ four fungicides, six insecticides and 10 herbicides. There are a number of pesticides that, if canceled, would have multi-million dollar impacts on the asparagus industry.

PesticideImpact to state ($) Total Impact($)
Mancozeb/Maneb1,800,0002,500,000 3,251,0007,551,000
Disulfoton (Disyston)33,043,000 32,178,00065,221,000
Diuron (Karmex)5,226,000404,000313,000 5,943,000
Glyphosate (Roundup)4,962,0001,664,000 40,0006,666,000
Linuron (Lorox)4,538,000890,000715,000 6,143,000
Trifluralin (Treflan)412,000868,000 1,280,000

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Book on minor crops published

The Washington State University Press recently published a 340-page book on Washington minor crops that provides an overview of every minor use food, feed and seed crop produced commercially in the state of Washington. The only such crops not included in the book are wheat, corn, alfalfa and barley.

Where data exist, information on production statistics, crop description, key pests, key pesticides, critical pest control issues, expert contacts and location of areas of production in the state are provided for each crop. For crops grown on a very limited basis, this information is often unavailable. For example, virtually no data are available on such Washington crops as bamboo shoots, chestnuts, sweet potatoes and faba beans. However, a surprising amount of information is included on a wide range of widely grown crops and the minor, minor crops such as evening primrose, crabapple, collard seed, pepino and edible watermelon seeds. Some degree of information is provided in the book for about 230 commodities.

Copies of the book have been provided to the Washington congressional delegation, state legislators, USDA, EPA, IR-4, state agencies, Washington commodity organizations and state and county specialists. Support for the development and distribution of the book was provided by the National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program and WSU Cooperative Extension.

The book, at $30 per copy, may be ordered from the Washington State University Bulletins Office at Cooper Publications Building, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-5912. Please request publication MISC 0181 and make checks payable to Cooperative Extension Publications.

...Alan Schreiber
I started this book just after I arrived in Washington in 1993, with the intention that it cover every minor use crop in the state. When I began, conventional wisdom was that the state produced between 70 and 100 crops. Writing a comprehensive book on the subject seemed possible at the time. Several months into the book, it became clear that the diversity of crops and the size of the undertaking were much greater than expected.

To make the project manageable, and given the amount of the USDA grant to complete the project (which was based on the assumption of fewer than 100 crops), I limited the project to minor use food, feed and seed crops. I drew this line, because these are the crops that require GLP pesticide residue data for registrations. This is a primary obstacle to registration, and it can be a formidable barrier; thus, these crops are most in need of attention.

One and a half years after its initiation, the book, expected to be used as a reference to Washington agriculture, is complete.

Besides misspelled words and minor errors that only became obvious to the author after publication, a potentially serious flaw in the book was quickly brought to my attention. The book is titled Washington Minor Crops and, thereby, implies that it covers all Washington minor crops. Although the implication is there, the book does not cover all crops.

Growers of the excluded crops want and deserve the same level of recognition. I have not yet decided how to address this issue, but intend to resolve it in the near future.

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Aldicarb use on potatoes

Aldicarb (Temik) use on potatoes was approved for reinstatement by the US Environmental Protection Agency on September 22, 1995.

Rhone-Poulenc Ag Company, the manufacturer, intends to support the use by implementing a Temik brand Aldicarb Pesticide Potato Stewardship Program, beginning before the end of 1995. Growers and applicators who satisfy the stewardship program requirements will be able to apply the product to their potato fields in 1996.

The Process

As stated in the new label, applicators or growers intending to apply Temik to potatoes must first be qualified through certification training sponsored by the manufacturer. Additionally, the equipment used to apply the product must be certified by the manufacturer or its designee prior to the purchase of Temik.

Rhone-Poulenc will offer a program that provides an incentive for growers to purchase the positive displacement application (PDA) equipment necessary to apply Temik. Positive displacement applicators are a type of granular applicator that uses a rotor to regulate flow rate based upon rotational speed (rpm) and mass displaced per revolution (ounces or grams per revolution). PDA rotors must be driven by a ground wheel or forward speed compensated motor.

If growers are not certified and/or have non-certified application equipment, then they may not use the product on potatoes.

Qualification Meetings

In order for growers or applicators to obtain certification, they must first attend a Rhone-Poulenc-sponsored meeting, at which they will be trained regarding label use directions, restrictions, environmental precautions, handling precautions and equipment requirements. Each attendee will become certified upon finishing the training session and completing a registration form. The trainee will retain one copy of the form. Training will be provided by Rhone-Poulenc and/or a company designee.

Equipment Certification

Because of the accuracy of positive displacement application equipment, its use is required. Prior to product purchase, the application equipment must be certified as functional PDA equipment by a Rhone-Poulenc representative or designee. Once the equipment is approved, it will receive a certification sticker.

Product Purchase

Once growers or applicators have satisfied both the training and equipment certification requirements, they may purchase Temik NW for use on potatoes. Growers will be required to provide a copy of their equipment certification form to the dealer, in order to purchase the product. Non-certified individuals wishing to purchase Temik for use on a registered crop other than potatoes must first sign a form at the dealership stating their agreement not to use the product on potatoes.

Product Use: Label Directions, Restrictions and Precautions

Temik brand 15G NW (to designate Northwest) is a new label allowing use only on potatoes grown in Idaho, Montana, Oregon (except Curry County), Washington and certain counties in Nevada and Utah. This label also contains uses for dry beans and sugar beets in those states. The following information is taken from the label:

For a copy of the new Temik label, contact Alan Schreiber at the Food and Environmental Quality Laboratory, Washington State University, 100 Sprout Road, Richland, WA 99352-1643, ph: 509-372-7324, fax: 509-372-7460.

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Pesticide training season here

Washington State University has mailed out its Pre-License and Recertification brochures to all licensed pesticide applicators. Recertification courses offer six recertification credits per day. For copies of the brochures, contact one of the following:

Your local county extension office

  • Conference Planning Service (509-335-2830)

  • E-mail to: or to

  • Print them off the World Wide Web at the following address:

    Pesticide RECERTIFICATION Programs for Eastern Washington
    PullmanJan. 8, 9
    RichlandJan. 8, 9
    SpokaneJan. 22, 23
    Moses LakeJan. 25, 26
    YakimaJan. 29, 30
    ClarkstonJan. 31
    Wenatchee (in Spanish)Feb. 8
    Pesticide RECERTIFICATION Programs for Western Washington
    FifeJan. 17, 18
    KelsoJan. 24, 25
    LynnwoodFeb. 6, 7
    Mt. VernonFeb. 14, 15
    OlympiaFeb. 28
    SilverdaleMar. 4, 5
    BellevueMar. 6, 7
    Integrated Plant
    Health Workshop,
    Mar. 5-8
    (5 credits per day)

    PRE-LICENSE Courses in Eastern Washington
    RichlandJan. 10, 11, 12
    PullmanJan. 16, 17, 18
    YakimaJan. 31, Feb. 1, 2
    SpokaneFeb. 5, 6, 7
    Moses LakeFeb. 13, 14, 15
    PRE-LICENSE Courses in Western Washington
    FifeJan. 16, 17, 18
    KelsoJan. 23, 24, 25
    LynnwoodFeb. 5, 6, 7
    Mt. VernonFeb. 13, 14, 15
    OlympiaFeb. 26, 27, 28

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    U.S. pesticide industry analyzed in report

    Leonard Gianessi, a policy analyst for the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, has just completed an economic analysis of the U.S. pesticide industry.

    The report consists of two sections. The first contains estimates of annual sales of individual active ingredients in the U.S. market. These sales estimates are organized by company and by market segment. The market position for the leading 18 companies is detailed in the second section of the report. Appropriately, the book contains two pages of caveats. The most important of these is that the report is based on a series of calculations by Gianessi derived largely from a scattered series of reports and several assumptions.

    Total U.S. crop protection pesticide sales were estimated at approximately $7.2 billion annually (based on information from 1990 -1994). This estimate is 16% greater than a recent EPA estimate of $6.2 billion for 1993. Eighteen companies have annual sales of pesticides applied to crops in the U.S. exceeding $50 million. The top five companies account for 57% of all sales.

    Of the 193 active ingredients commonly used in U.S. crop protection, 16 have annual sales of $100 million or more.

    Pesticide sales by type are as follows: herbicides (65%), insecticides (22%), fungicides (8%) and other (5%). By crop, pesticide sales are corn (26%), soybeans (21%), fruits and vegetables (13%), cotton (13%) and all other crops (27%).

    U.S. Crop Pesticide
    Sales by Company

    Ciba Geigy917
    American Cyanamid867
    ISK Biosciences131
    Rohm and Haas96
    Uniroyal Chemical75
    Elf Atochem61

    U.S. Crop Pesticide
    Sales by Crop

    small grains406
    other crops264
    other fruits246

    U.S. Crop Pesticide Sales: Top-selling Active Ingredients

    Active ingredientU.S. Sales (million $/year) Company
    Metolachlor (Dual)451Ciba Geigy
    Glyphosate (Roundup)447Monsanto
    Imazethapyr (Pursuit)438American Cyanamid
    Trifluralin (Treflan)205DowElanco
    Cyanazine (Bladex)184DuPont
    Atrazine169Ciba Geigy
    Chlorpyrifos (Lorsban)169DowElanco
    Dicamba (Banvel)168Sandoz
    Alachlor (Lasso)166Monsanto
    Pendimethalin (Prowl)152American Cyanamid
    Acetochlor (Surpass)137Monsanto/Zeneca
    Nicosulfuron (Accent)123DuPont
    Terbufos (Counter)108American Cyanamid
    Imazaquin (Scepter)105American Cyanamid
    Bentazon (Basagran)103BASF

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    EPA's Table II

    Note: Although not obvious at first, the revised Table II should have a positive impact on pesticide availability.
    Table II of the Pesticide Assessment Guidelines, Subdivision-O, Residue Chemistry, provides a listing of all significant food and feed commodities, both raw and processed, for which residue data are collected and tolerances may be set.

    For feed commodities, the table from the Environmental Protection Agency includes the maximum percentage allowed in the diet for beef and dairy cattle, poultry, and swine. It also provides guidance on the acceptability of label restrictions prohibiting use as a feedstuff.

    The Chemistry Branches in the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs' Health Effects Division have issued an update (September 1995) to the table that further revises an earlier revision issued in June 1994. Changes are described below.

    In the June 1994 version, the following criteria were used to decide what feedstuffs are "significant" (i.e., for which feedstuffs does EPA require residue data and livestock metabolism and feeding studies).

    1) The U.S. annual production of the crop (raw agricultural commodity) is 250,000 tons or greater and the maximum amount in the livestock diet is 10% or greater; or

    2) The commodity is grown mainly as a feedstuff.

    In response to comments, the Environmental Protection Agency has refined the criteria for determining the "significance" of feedstuffs for inclusion in Table II (September 1995). The additional criteria are as follows:

    The amount of a commodity (raw agricultural or processed) produced or diverted for use as a feedstuff is 0.04% or greater of the total annual tonnage of all feedstuffs available for livestock utilization in the U.S.

    Feedstuffs less than 0.04% of the total estimated annual tonnage of all feedstuffs available are included in Table II if:

    a) The feedstuff is listed and traded routinely on the commodity exchange markets.

    b) There is a regional production, seasonal consideration, or an incident history for use of the feedstuff.

    c) The feedstuff is grown exclusively for livestock feeding in quantities greater than 10,000 tons (0.0015% of the total estimated annual tonnage of all feedstuffs available).

    Using the above criteria for inclusion of feedstuffs in Table II, EPA expects to account for greater than 99% of the available annual tonnage (on a dry-matter basis) of feedstuffs used in the domestic production of greater than 95% of beef and dairy cattle, poultry, swine, milk and eggs.

    Additional changes to Table II include removals and additions of crops, and redefinitions and reclassifications of raw agricultural and processed commodities and feedstuffs. Examples of such changes include:

    Removal of: