Agrichemical and Environmental News -- Nov95
A monthly report on pesticides and related environmental issues

Issue No. 117, November 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 A Bottleneck in Meeting Pest Control Needs
Commission on Pesticide Registration Alien Invader: Salt Cedar
Available Reports The Risks of Using Genetically Engineered Potatoes
So, What is IR-4 Up To? Apple Pesticide Benefit Assessment
Carol Weisskopf Comparison of 24 (C) and Section 18 Criteria
Funding for the Commission Officially Unofficial
The New PLIRS Pesticide Training Season Here
Federal 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:

PCEI grants available for 1996

The Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute (PCEI) has grants available, through its Ag Options Network Club Project, for the 1996 growing season.

Club projects allow producers and community groups an opportunity to explore new approaches for improving resource conservation and profitability on their farms and in their communities. The network gives financial and technical assistance to producers and community groups in Idaho and eastern Washington, working on club projects of their choice.

Farm Improvement Club grants of up to $1,200, and Community Support Club grants of up to $600 can be provided. To learn more about the clubs, call Nancy Taylor at 208-882-1444. Grant proposal deadline is January 16, 1996.

Washington's organic agriculture

The state of Washington has 232 growers certified to produce organic crops. Although substantially smaller than the California organic industry, Washington's industry is growing; 56 of the 232 growers were new to the program in 1995.

The estimated farmgate value of Washington's organic produce is about $30 million. The state has about 10,000 acres of crops that are certified organic, with the single largest crop being apples, grown on 1,200 acres.

About one-third of Washington growers may use rotenone, although there is some question within the organic community as to the environmental soundness of using the product.

The impact of the impending loss of rotenone is not known. There are several crops that require the use of rotenone for organic production. For example, rotenone is the only known means to control cherry fruit fly on organically produced cherries. Other crops on which growers apply significant amounts of rotenone include brassicas, potatoes, tree fruits and celery.

Those aware of anyone who may be impacted by the loss of rotenone (regardless of whether they are organic growers or residents of Washington State), are asked to please contact Alan Schreiber at phone: 509-372-7378, fax: 509-372-7460.

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A bottleneck in meeting pest control needs

While the state of Washington has assembled a variety of programs to address its pest control needs, its efforts are hampered by a lack of university researchers.

Washington State University has a legislatively supported biocontrol initiative. Dr. Garrell Long was named Washington IPM Coordinator. In that capacity, he is increasing IPM extension and research effort in the state. The Food and Environmental Quality Lab has established a field research center to conduct GLP field residue trials in eastern Washington. This center complements existing centers in Prosser and Yakima. A field research center was established in Mt. Vernon to conduct field trials for western Washington. The FEQL has begun GLP lab analyses; three hop projects and one mint project are underway. The Legislature this year created the Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration. It is providing leadership and financial support to pesticide registration efforts. WSDA has developed a program that provides regulatory expertise for minor crop pesticide registrations.

All of these programs complement existing programs, such as the IR-4 Project, research and extension programs at WSU and commodity funded research. However, a deficit in one area is creating a bottleneck for the entire crop protection system. The lack of university scientists conducting applied pest control research and demonstration projects has become a limiting factor in addressing pest control needs. Independent, objective university experts are the basic functional units of crop protection systems. Without the researcher generating potential solutions to pest control problems, the rest of the system cannot carry projects to completion.

WSU has weathered a steady erosion of federal and state support resulting in loss of several research and extension positions. For example, until a couple of years ago, WSU had five weed science positions. A weed science position at Prosser was eliminated recently. Two weed science positions at Pullman are vacant, and it is likely that at least one will be lost. One of two extension plant pathology positions in western Washington is vacant and may not be filled. Prior to the position vacancy, there was one 100% and one quarter-time extension plant pathologist. Loss of the position would leave western Washington with only a quarter-time extension plant pathologist. The entomology department has lost or will be losing three positions. A number of major commodities in the state lack pest control researchers. For example, the primary pest control issue in wine grapes, an industry that contributes well over $100 million to the state economy, is disease. There is, however, no plant pathologist available to serve the commodity.

Applied research and extension scientists at a university form the basis for the development of safer and more effective pest control solutions. If research and extension personnel are lost, then a well developed and financed system for developing pest control tools is worthless. University scientists are the engines that make the crop protection system run.

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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
    Sunnyside (in Spanish)Nov. 6
    RichlandNov. 7, 8
    OkanoganNov. 30
    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
    LynnwoodNov. 14, 15
    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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    Commission on Pesticide Registration

    The pesticide registration process, the IR-4 Project, financial planning and review of GLP pesticide registration projects for 1996 were the primary topics of discussion at the second meeting of the Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration held October 30 at the WSU Tri-Cities Campus in Richland, WA.

    The initial 90 minutes of the meeting were involved with a discussion of the EPA pesticide registration process, specifically of the number and location of field trials required to obtain a full federal registration and a Special Local Needs (Section 24c) registration. Additional information was provided on how the commission would interact with the IR-4 Project.

    The commission reviewed nine requests for assistance in obtaining or maintaining pesticide registrations for crops grown in Washington. Following is a synopsis of the projects.

    MCPA on peas: MCPA is an important herbicide for use on green peas, dry peas and pea seed. Due to the cost of reregistration, registrants will not be supporting continued use of MCPA on peas. The pea industry expressed a willingness to provide half of the estimated $40,000 that would be required to conduct a study to retain the use of the product. This project, if funded, would result in retaining the use of two MCPA products for the entire United States.

    Chlorpyrifos (Lorsban) on onions: Onion growers need a post-emergent insecticide to control soil insects. The request would expand the current registration of chlorpyrifos used at planting to allow a second post emergence application. The cost of this project would be divided between the registrant and the commission. This product would also benefit Oregon and Idaho. Estimated total cost is $15,000.

    Glufosinate (Ignite) on raspberry: Raspberry growers rely currently on a Section 18 herbicide to control raspberry primocanes. This method has significant drawbacks. The red raspberry industry would be responsible for half of the cost of the estimated $26,000 project. This effort would also benefit Oregon.

    Hexythiazox (Savey) on mint: Two-spotted spider mite is the primary arthropod pest of mint in the Northwest. An alternative is needed for the primary method of control, propargite (Comite), which may not be registered in the future. Hexythiazox would be an important IPM tool, because it does not impact predatory mites. The Mint Industry Research Council would share the cost of the $38,000-$40,000 project with the commission. This project would also benefit Idaho and Oregon.

    Pyridate (Tough) on asparagus: Registration of this herbicide on established and newly planted asparagus would address two identified needs of the Washington asparagus industry. The asparagus industry would be expected to provide about half of the cost of the $26,000-$31,000 project. This effort would also benefit Idaho and Oregon.

    Captan on leaf lettuce and head lettuce: Captan was registered for use on lettuce and was a very important tool for control of anthracnose. Projects on leaf and head lettuce would result in reestablishment of a registration of the fungicide on Washington and Oregon lettuce. The Washington lettuce industry would assess itself to generate about $15,000. The registrant has expressed interest in providing about $6,000 in support. The commission would provide the remaining support.

    Ethoxyquin (Deccoquin) on pear: Ethoxyquin is an important fungicide for control of post-harvest diseases on pears. It is undergoing reregistration, and continued registration of the fungicide is dependent on residue trials. The commission agreed to provide 25% of the national cost, or 50% of the Northwest cost of the residue trial. This effort would also benefit Idaho and Oregon.

    Iprodione (Rovral) on apple: A registration of iprodione would be used to control diseases on apples. It was unclear whether the use pattern in question is pre-harvest or post-harvest. The Washington State Tree Fruit Research Commission agreed to provide up to $25,000 of support for this project. The commission agreed to match this amount.

    It is important to remember that a vote by the commission to provide support for these projects does not mean that these projects will be carried out automatically. In most cases, there are at least two additional critical steps to be taken. First, commodity groups that have expressed an interest in supporting the project must make a formal commitment to provide matching funding. Matching funds are not a requirement for the commission to support a project, but the commission may make matching funds a condition of commission support on a case-by-case basis. Second, and most importantly, the IR-4 Project has to decide whether to support the projects. A decision by IR-4 to not support a project means that it is functionally dead. A third requirement that will impact a few projects is that registrants must be willing to support the registration of the project. In the case of MCPA on peas and captan on leaf and head lettuce, the commission is still negotiating with the registrants.

    The commission is required to spend at least 25% of its funds on commodities not in the top 20 agricultural crops produced in the state. Of the 11 projects that the commission has voted to support thus far, five are not in the top 20 commodities.

    The next meeting of the Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration is to be December 1, 1995 at 10 a.m. in Ellensburg at the county courthouse. Agenda topics for the December 1 meeting are expected to include adoption of a formal budget, discussion of future proposal guidelines, possible election of officers and schedul in

    For more information about the Commission on Pesticide Registration, or to be placed on a mailing list of interested parties, contact Catharine Daniels at the Pesticide Information Center (PIC) at 509-372-7492, e-mail:

    The meetings of the Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration are open to the public.

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    Alien invader: salt cedar

    ...John Farmer
    Salt cedar is a threat to the Columbia Basin. It invades and dominates riparian areas, displaces the native vegetation and consumes vast quantities of water. In an era of conflict over water rights and water use, a greedy new water hog is not welcome. Presently, there are only a few infestations in this area. Identification of minor infestations and a small amount of effort now will go a long way toward preventing the problems that plague other areas. The following is a brief description of salt cedar, along with the problems it causes and some solutions.

    Salt cedar is a catchall name for four Tamarisk species that are both difficult and unimportant to separate. A native of Eurasia, it was brought to the U.S. as an ornamental plant in the late 1800s.

    By 1915 it was recognized as a threat. In 1986, Stephen Johnson estimated that there were at least one million infested acres in the United States. It is most common in Southwestern states but is invading more Northern states like Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas.

    This deciduous plant grows as a shrub or small tree, usually 15 or 20 feet high. The white or pink flower clusters bloom from June to September. Numerous shoots bear drooping branches, with small, scaly or cedar like leaves. It grows very rapidly, especially in the first year. The extensive root system is what makes this plant such a threat. Roots up to 100 feet long can tap and drain deep ground water reserves.

    This aggressive plant has a very high evapotranspiration rate. It can extract up to 200 gallons of water per day, or between four and 13 acre feet per year. In the Southwestern U.S., it was estimated to use at least one acre foot of water more than the native riparian vegetation. At the present rate of spread in the Pecos River basin, it is thought that the river could dry up by 2010. One million acres of salt cedar is estimated to consume twice the water used by the major cities in Southern California each year.

    It often forms dense, monotypic stands, displacing the native vegetation. The plant is a prolific seed producer and resprouts vigorously from roots or branches. The seeds are pollen sized and are easily dispersed by wind and water. It is very salt tolerant and can withstand drought and flooding. It has the ability to grow very rapidly, out competing most other plants in riparian areas. The dense stands can clog river channels and cause flooding.

    Salt cedar got its name from one of its most devastating features. As the plant transpires, salts are accumulated in the leaves. Falling leaves contaminate the soil at the base of the shrub, creating a zone in which only salt-tolerant salt cedar can grow. William Neill in 1983 stated, "under optimum conditions a desert riparian area containing only a few [salt cedar] trees can be converted to an impenetrable thicket in less than a decade."

    Wildlife is also impacted by this shrub. It is relatively unpalatable to most animals. Grazing and browsing species concentrate on other plants, speeding up the invasion process. One study found that there were only four species of birds present in a salt cedar stand and 154 bird species in a nearby uninfested site. Many wildlife species are driven out of infested areas.

    The control efforts of past years have met with varying levels of success. Chopping and mowing have not proven effective, because the plants easily resprout. A combination of cutting and treating the numerous stumps with glyphosate (Roundup) or triclopyr (Garlon) has been effective. At present, only glyphosate (Rodeo) is available for aquatic sites. Imazapyr (Arsenal) is effective on salt cedar but is non selective and somewhat expensive. Root plowing is effective also but is even more expensive and disruptive.

    One successful project used a blade to cut the roots deep below ground and then revegetated the site at a cost of $2,000 per acre. Willows and poplars are commonly used for revegetation. The effective methods of controlling salt cedar are expensive, disruptive and a lot of hard work.

    By far the most efficient way to deal with this aggressive plant is to prevent it from becoming established in the first place. It is to this end that the noxious weed boards were developed. By identifying and eradicating the initial infestations of these aggressive invaders, the cost and disruption of the control work is reduced dramatically. At present, there are approximately 100 salt cedar trees in Benton County. The cost of treating these small infestations in1995 was less than a gallon of triclopyr (Garlon) and a day's work for two people. If these initial infestations are left untreated, thousands of acres along the Columbia River and its tributaries will be threatened with a devastating infestation.

    There is a larger infestation of 400 acres south of Othello, Wash. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the South Columbia Basin Irrigation District, Westinghouse-Hanford and the Franklin and Grant County weed boards are working together in a control effort.

    Salt cedar is an aggressive and damaging plant. If it is left to spread, Washington will pay a high price in water loss and habitat loss. Now is the time to recognize this threat and eradicate it. For more information call your county weed board or contact John Farmer at phone: 509-786-6988, fax: 509-786-6990.

    Note: John Farmer is coordinator of the Benton County Noxious Weed Control Board.

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    The risks of using genetically modified potatoes

    ...Mike Marsh
    The opinions presented in this article are those of the author, and do not represent positions or policies of the EPA.

    The following are thoughts on the agricultural and environmental consequences of widespread use of transgenic crop plants and, more specifically, the potato carrying the genes from Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies tenebrionis (the Btt potato), coding for the protein delta endotoxin, which is toxic to the Colorado potato beetle (CPB).

    Genetically altered crop plants have been around for a long time. Witness the corn plant, whose genome has been modified so much by centuries of use of traditional selection procedures, that it is described as an ecological cripple. The new means of altering the genetic makeup of organisms by transgenic procedures, pose new questions: combinations of genes from such distantly related organisms as bacteria and plants have never before been possible, and their effects cannot be predicted confidently.

    Risks for agriculture
    A. Development of resistance: The Btt potato has been developed with Bt genes so similar that beetles with resistance to the toxin of one of them would confer resistance to all. In fact, resistant strains of CPB have already been developed by selection in the laboratory. The development of resistance can be delayed most effectively, if all Btt potato growers employ effective strategies. These strategies should include crop rotations or off-crop refuges of non-transgenic potatoes to maintain low populations of susceptible CPB, propagation of beneficial insects, scouting, propane flaming, and spot spraying with selective insecticides to avoid poisoning natural predators.

    B. Escape from cultivation: A plant that is resistant to an important insect pest would be more successful than one that is not. Experience with normal potatoes in commerce indicates that escapes via vegetative means are unlikely. In the United Kingdom at least, many normal varieties produce abundant seed, and potato seedlings have the potential to be a more persistent weed problem than vegetative escapes.

    C. Threat to global centers of biodiversity: Wild relatives of different crop plants are concentrated in different parts of the world. The creation of hybrids through pollen transfer is of concern for three reasons: Weeds created in this way could be a serious problem for crop production, and they could cause displacement and extinction of wild plants harboring an important gene pool for the improvement of crop plants. Also, the transfer of transgenic pollen might contaminate the gene pool of wild relatives, impairing their survival or replacing desirable wild genes with the limited selection found in the crop.

    Maintaining these wild relatives in their natural settings, where they can evolve naturally, is important to agriculture. In the 1970 epidemic of Northern corn blight, an estimated 15% of the national corn crop was lost. Introduction of a gene for resistance found in a wild relative in Mexico resulted in yield increases estimated at 30 to 50 bushels per acre. A wheat strain from Turkey contributed resistance to stripe rust and flag smut, and to common and dwarf bunts. Increased yields were estimated to have added $50 million annually to farm incomes in 1980.

    It is unlikely that potatoes carrying the Btt gene would cross with wild relatives in this country. However, it seems quite likely that transgenic potatoes, if grown in South America, where close relatives exist, would out-cross to wild relatives, with undesirable consequences. In fact, export to any country in which agriculture is not governed by good international agreements poses the risk of further uncontrolled spread of viable tubers.

    D. Potential harmful effects of plant residues: Residues containing the endotoxin, or its metabolites, could be harmful to beneficial soil arthropods or other soil organisms such as nitrogen-fixing bacteria and ectomycorrhizal fungi. On-going research has found no clear evidence that such harm would occur.

    Risks to the environment
    The risks to the environment are the same as those described above, because there is little difference between environmental and agricultural concerns when our common future is considered. A few points might be stressed, however:

    A. Resistance: The foliage of the Btt potato is toxic to other insects besides CPB. Widespread cultivation of this crop may cause extinction of some of these, while promoting the development of resistance in others. Development of such resistance is not without cost, however, because substitution of the resistant gene usually means the loss of homologous chromosomes carrying other, potentially valuable genetic material and may seriously reduce genetic diversity in a population.

    B. Escape from cultivation: Weeds often invade native plant communities and, through direct competition with native plants or alteration of the physical habitat, cause detrimental modifications of native communities and loss or exclusion of species.

    C. Loss of biodiversity is of intrinsic concern to the organisms affected, and to humans as well. In addition, it is important for the future of agriculture and for many other industries, including drugs, chemicals, fisheries, forestry and the growing industry of toxic site remediation.

    The greatest short-term risk from the widespread use of Btt potatoes is the likelihood that in a few years the majority of insect pests against which it is targeted will develop resistance to it. Strategies to delay development of resistance should accompany the label of the potato seed. Any indication of developing resistance should be reported to extension personnel and to the registrant of the product.

    The likelihood that transgenic potatoes would escape and become weeds is not well understood. Potentially even more damaging in the long run is the risk associated with export or escape of the transgenic potato to countries where it could hybridize with compatible native relatives. This could lead to alterations of natural and cropland ecosystems and loss of biodiversity. I believe these risks should receive greater attention from scientists and regulators at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    One important fact about the adoption of this new crop plant is that it moves agriculture in North America further toward the planting of monocultures and dependance on a single strain of a crop. This trend appears dangerous economically, because of the likelihood of a pest outbreak that would attack all crops of the susceptible strain. It also reduces the independence of farmers, increasing their dependence on a single corporate source and furthering the monopolistic linkage of all aspects of agriculture.

    Note: Mike Marsh works in the Pesticides Section, EPA Region 10, Seattle, WA (but is paid by the American Association of Retired Persons). This article is a condensed version of a lengthier piece prepared by Dr. Marsh. Copies of the entire article may be obtained by contacting Catherine Daniels.

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    So, what is IR-4 up to?

    Since the IR-4 Project was initiated in 1963, the program has logged 6,385 requests for assistance with food use registrations.

    Currently, there are 1,312 projects that are considered researchable; 1,020 of these are requests for new uses of pesticides, and 292 are requests for assistance to maintain existing registrations (reregistration projects).

    During 1995, the Project received 261 new requests for assistance. Of these, approximately 36% of project requests are for herbicides and plant growth regulators, 38% are for insecticides and miticides and 26% are for fungicides and nematicides. In 1995, the IR-4 Project initiated 178 projects. The 178 projects required 488 GLP field residue trials.

    Since its beginning, the IR-4 Project has logged 11,749 requests for assistance with obtaining registrations for pesticides on ornamental crops.

    Registration of pesticides on ornamental crops is usually much easier than for other crops, because GLP field residue trials are not required. Generally, only phytotoxicity data are required to obtain most registrations.

    About 282 requests for assistance with ornamental registrations were received in 1995. About 357 registrations were obtained during the same period. Total ornamental registrations obtained by IR-4 so far are 3,671.

    There were 20 IR-4 projects of importance to the state of Washington conducted in 1995.

    The following projects are reregistration projects that will result in the continued use of the product on the crop: SOPP on pear, 2,4-D on strawberry, ferbam (Trifungol, Carbamate) on blueberry and terbacil (Sinbar) on blueberry, caneberry and strawberry.

    Projects to register new uses of products on crops included the following: bifenthrin (Brigade) on raspberry, captan on raspberry, cryolite on cranberry, fonofos (Dyfonate) on bluegrass seed, fonofos (Dyfonate) on cranberry, glyphosate (Roundup) on dry pea/chickpea, lentils, metalaxyl + copper on arugula, myclobutanil (Systhane) on currants, oryzalin (Snapshot, Surflan) on hops, pendimethalin (Prowl) on grapes, pendimethalin (Prowl) on strawberry, propiconazole (Orbit) on mint, triadimefon (Bayleton) on raspberry and zinc phosphide on timothy.

    Washington had a single ornamental registration project in 1995, for a biofungicide on rhododendron.

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    Apple pesticide benefit assessment

    ...Anne Morrell
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Pesticide Impact Assessment Program (NAPIAP) has recently funded a pesticide benefit assessment project for apples in the U.S.

    Because of the complexity of pest problems and the high level of pesticide usage on apples, many feel that this will be the most difficult benefit assessment that NAPIAP has ever undertaken.

    The project will be conducted by a team of scientists led by Alan Schreiber of WSU. Other assessment team members, representing various areas of expertise, are Jay Brunner (entomologist, WSU), Jeffrey Derr (weed scientist, Virginia Polytechnic University), Vicki McCracken and David Hennessy (agricultural economists, WSU), and David Rosenberger (plant pathologist, Cornell University). Craig Osteen and Kent Smith from NAPIAP and David Thomas and Joe Hogue from EPA will also provide input, to ensure that assessment results are useful to the decision-making processes of their respective agencies. The apple industry has provided extensive input into the process thus far.

    The assessment team will collect information on pesticide usage, nonchemical pest control usage, the relative importance of various pests, pesticide substitution patterns and expected industry losses if specific pesticides were to be canceled. Estimates will then be made of the benefits of particular pesticides to producers, processors and consumers of apples.

    A second phase of the project involves the assessment of integrated pest management (IPM) use on apples. The assessment will cover the eight primary apple producing states of Washington, Oregon, California, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina.

    The assessment team will conduct a survey to characterize how individuals involved in making IPM decisions carry out their jobs. The survey will also assess the extent of implementation of IPM tactics.

    The first team meeting will be held in Washington D.C. in late November.

    The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 1997. For more information on the apple pesticide benefit assessment, please contact Alan Schreiber at (509)372-7378.

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    Available Reports

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    Table of Contents

    Analytical chemistry -- How good are those analytical results?

    ...Carol Weisskopf
    This month I will continue to discuss pesticide screens, as well as how they differ from the analysis of individual compounds. We will use an organophosphate pesticide screen as an example, and describe what may happen when a compound is detected.

    When a sample is submitted for a pesticide screen, there are several choices for both the extraction method and instrumentation to be used. The California Department of Food and Agriculture has methods their chemists use for residue screens, there are several EPA versions of screening procedures, the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) has screening methods described in its Official Methods of Analysis, and other agencies have additional official screening procedures.

    The method used will depend on the laboratory to which the sample is submitted and the intended use of the data. Laboratories certified for performance of EPA methods will cite the particular EPA method used, and the selection is based on the glassware, equipment and instrumentation available in that laboratory. Similar criteria determine the method selection for non-EPA procedures.

    Evaluation of a particular finding in a pesticide screen can be difficult. The use of an EPA method (or any other method, official or otherwise) does not guarantee "good" results. It simply indicates that method performance has been tested under a variety of conditions in many different laboratories, and that labs using the procedure conform to documentation and performance verification checks specified in the method.

    How does either the chemist or the customer decide if the results are good? Let's return to our organophosphate insecticide screen to explain how it works in our laboratory. We frequently use the AOAC multiresidue screen for determination of organophosphorus (OP) and organochlorine (OC) pesticide residues. It is designed (and has been tested) for analysis of 14 OCs and seven OPs in a number of fruits, vegetables and grains. For analyses of these pesticides on the tested commodities, a competent laboratory will get "good" results from the method. In this case, "good" means that if we take a sample of the crop, add some of the pesticides to it and run this sample through the procedure, we find at least 80% of each pesticide when the analysis is complete. It also means that we get similar results each time we do the analysis; if we can get 98% of added parathion back from cauliflower today, we should get about the same result tomorrow.

    When we perform an OP screen, we analyze more than just the submitted sample. The chemist performing the analysis also does test samples to verify that the results are good. These are analyzed at the same time, using the same chemicals and instruments used on the real sample. One test sample is called a reagent blank, which is the performance of the entire procedure using all of the chemicals but omitting the crop. This checks if the chemicals we use are contaminated with any of the compounds in the screen. None of the OPs should be found above the detection limits of the method. The other test sample is a recovery test, the addition of the tested pesticides to the same crop as the sample. If we are analyzing lettuce, we take a lettuce sample, add OPs to it, and analyze it. If we recover our usual 80% or more of the pesticides, this indicates that the chemist performed the method correctly during that set of samples and that the method worked for lettuce. If there is a problem with our test samples, we correct the problems and do the whole thing over. At the end of the tests, if the reagent blank contains no OPs above the method detection limit and our recovery numbers are good, we have confidence in the sample results for the seven OPs in the method.

    There are, of course, many more than seven commonly used OPs. Some will not be recovered by the extraction because they are too polar or too volatile, and some will not be found with the instrumental conditions used in the screen. Most OPs could be detected with the method, although the results may be poor.

    I described briefly last month how a compound may be identified by its chromatographic behavior. In an OP screen, we are frequently able to identify compounds other than the ones for which the screen is designed. After we identify the compound, we need to run several recovery samples to test the method performance for that particular pesticide. If we are lucky, recoveries are good, and we can believe the results of the original analysis.

    Often, recoveries are low or variable, and the original results become qualitative (the compound is present, but the concentration is unknown). To accurately determine the concentration, an extraction and analysis procedure specific for that particular OP is then tested and the sample reanalyzed using the new procedure.

    The amount of trouble we take with these analyses, and how far we pursue development of a good method for a particular pesticide, depends on how accurate the results need to be.

    If we are testing feed, growth media or soil used in an OP toxicity test, we don't want any OPs in the material. We don't care exactly how much is there; finding any concentration above the detection limit is grounds for rejecting the material. The identity of the compound is not particularly important either. At the other extreme, if it is a matter of a pesticide's tolerance on a particular crop, the concentration needs to be very accurate with high confidence in the identification, because regulatory decisions are based on the results.

    Note: Carol Weisskopf is the analytical chemist at the WSU Food and Environmental Quality Laboratory

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    Comparison of Section 24 (C) and Section 18

    Section 24(C) Section 18
    1. Tolerance of exemption
    already established.
    1. Not established.
    2. Justification and lack of alternatives
    must be documented.
    2. Emergency situation must be
    documented _ not historical pest
    problem (economics and lack of alternatives must be verified).
    3. Data _ residue, efficacy, phytotoxicity. 3. Data _ residue, efficacy, phytotoxicity.
    4. Scientific evaluation. 4. Scientific evaluation.
    5. Letter of authorization from manufacturer. 5. Letter of authorization from manufacturer.
    6. Write justification to USEPA and
    then wait for telegram, which
    includes the use, limitations on acreage, geographical location, etc.
    6. Issued without expiration date,
    although they can be inactivated.
    7. Expiration date (no longer
    than one year).
    7. May be 3rd party or 1st party (manufacturer). 8. Must be 3rd party such as
    county, university or grower
    8. Must pay USEPA maintenance fees. 9. No USEPA fees.

    Similarities _
    Justification is required based on letters, university farm advisors, growers and other sources. Lack of alternatives must be documented.
    Scientific review of the data is required.

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    Funding for the commission

    ... Alan Schreiber
    By now, most everyone knows the Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration is supported by some innovative funding. WSU was instructed to provide $1 million of funding per biennium for the commission, but was not provided a commensurate amount of money.

    The non-provision of funds is being described as a simple legislative oversight. WSU is not particularly flush with cash, so the legislative mandate to provide the money to the commission places the university in a somewhat awkward position.

    Making matters worse, a second program is in a similar situation. The legislature instructed WSU to spend $525,000 on wine and wine grape research during this biennium as well.

    To address the $1.525 million shortfall, WSU has submitted a supplemental budget request to the Washington Legislature asking that the money be made available to the university during the second half of the biennium. If the legislature does not provide this money, then the university will be forced to cut existing programs to fund the new commission and the wine research program. Unfortunately, the cuts would take place during the second year of the biennium rather than over the span of two years.

    I was curious as to the impact the budget cut would have on WSU, in the event that the legislature does not make the new money available. I was referred to Karl Boehmke, WSU Budget Director, who said that WSU received about $300 million in state general fund money from the legislature this biennium, or $150 million each year. Of this, 23%, or $34,400,000 a year, goes to WSU's College of Agriculture and Home Economics. If the legislatur e does not make available the necessary funds, cuts totalling $1.525 million must be made to current university programs. If the CAHE absorbed the entire shortfall, the college would suffer a 4.4% overall reduction in its budget.

    When Boehmke was asked about the impact of the cuts, he replied, "Most certainly, agriculture would have to take a large share, if not all of the cuts, because the alternative of cutting instructional programs would be very difficult with the enrollment access crunch. It's likely that most if not all of the cuts would come out of other agriculture programs. I hasten to add, however, that we're very optimistic that it's just a legislative oversight that the legislature intends to fix."

    It is noteworthy that at the beginning of the biennium (which began July 1), the university experienced a cut of $6.971 million. For the CAHE, this meant the following reductions: $101,300 in instruction, $372,400 in agriculture research and $257,000 in extension.

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    Officially Unofficial

    "Officially Unofficial" is a regular feature that may include information considered politically inappropriate by some.

    **Based on its settlement with DuPont, EPA plans to take cyanazine out of Special Review. However, EPA appears to be planning on placing propazine (Milo-Pro), another triazine, into the triazine Special Review.

    **Propargite (Omite, Comite) has been on-again, off-again from a regulatory standpoint. First, I mentioned that EPA was gearing up to take serious regulatory action against the compound. Then, I stated that, due to EPA using a new method to conduct cancer risk assessment, regulatory pressure on the compound would decrease. Based on new information, EPA's latest position on the compound is that a significant cancer risk determination appears likely for propargite. Stay tuned for the next chapter.

    **An estimated 333 million cropland acres in the U.S. were expected to be used for crops in 1995. This is down six million acres from 1994. Harvest estimates of principal crops total 302 million acres, with that number likely to be raised to almost 315 million acres by year's end. More than 11 million acres will be double cropped. The remaining 22 million acres are cultivated summer fallow lands. Estimated acres with crop failure total about seven million acres.

    **EPA has formed an internal working group to study how to change the way Section 18s (emergency exemptions) are handled at the agency. Among the proposed changes are 1) allow states to determine whether a particular exemption is urgent or non-routine, 2) allow states to grant repeat requests for a certain number of years, 3) grant multiple year exemptions and 4) allow non-emergency exemption for such reasons as resistance management or for reduced risk pesticides. Bearing in mind that EPA grants 90% of exemption requests from states and grants close to 100% of repeat requests made during the first five years, allowing any of the first three options should be an easy decision. The fourth option is much trickier (and much less likely); it would be a substantial departure from existing procedure and could result in a flood of requests.

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    The new PLIRS

    The Pesticide Label Information Retrieval System (PLIRS), a fee-for-service database at the WSU Tri-Cities Pesticide Information Center (PIC), is soon to be updated.

    PLIRS is the official database containing current label information from the Washington State Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Agriculture on all pesticide products registered in those two states. It is designed to identify labels registered for use on given crops, sites and pests. The system serves as a guide to the labels and is not a recommendation list per se.

    Federally registered products, as well as Special Local Needs (Section 24c) labels, are included. Short duration registrations such as Section 18s and Experimental Use Permits are not.

    PLIRS does not include directions for use or any use restrictions such as preharvest intervals. The system is, however, unique in that a user can extract, along with other useful information, a list of currently registered insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides, etc. on almost any crop for any given pest.

    The present database has been in use on the same software since 1980, making it ancient in terms of computer years. Because PLIRS is slowly deteriorating, WSU is investing in a new system. The updated system will be easier to maintain and will reduce errors.

    There are two ways in which the new system will be accessible. Users will need to purchase X-Windows, which will allow access to the new PLIRS. WSU programmers also plan to have the new system accessible from the World Wide Web via the Internet. A 28.8 KB modem and a 486 machine size (16 MB RAM) will be needed. Also, the modem must work with a SLIP/PPP connection, to gain access to X-Windows. Decisions on user costs are pending. Web pages are currently under construction, with a trial run expected sometime in late November.

    Along with the new PLIRS database, other pesticide-related information, such as a tolerance database, will be accessible. Tolerances for all crops grown in Washington and Oregon will be on-line. Data will also be available for many other commodities. Addresses of current registrants will soon be available. The Agrichemical and Environmental News will be available from this site also.

    The PIC staff expects the new system to be operational by late December, at which time tutorials will be offered.

    For questions concerning the new PLIRS, contact Mark Antone or Catherine Daniels at phone: (509) 372-7492, fax: (509) 372-7460 or E-mail: -or-

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    Federal Issues


    The following tolerances were granted by EPA since the last report (October 1995). These data do not mean that a label has been registered for this use. These pesticides must not be used until a label is registered with EPA or a state department of agriculture.

    A=adjuvantD=desiccant D/H=desiccant, herbicide
    F=fungicideFA=feed additive G=growth regulatorH=herbicide
    I-insecticideN=nematicide P=pheromoneV=vertebrate repellent

    (H) Quizalofop-P
    DuPont0.05 Lentil
    (I) ChlorethoxyfosDuPont0.01 Corn, field, pop, sweet
    (I) FenpropathrinValent2.0 (a) Strawberries
    0.6 (a)Tomatoes
    (I) TralomethrinAgrEvo0.5 (a) Broccoli
    1.0 (a)Lettuce, head
    3.0 (a)Lettuce, leaf
    0.05 (a)Soybeans
    0.05 (a)Sunflowers
    (H) SulfentrazoneFMC0.05 (b) Soybeans

    (a) = Time-limited tolerance expiring November 15, 1997
    (b) = Time-limited tolerance expiring January 1, 1997

    Reregistration Notifications

    Note: The source for this reregistration information, the Reregistration Notification Network, is a cooperative effort of USDA-NAPIAP, Interregional Project No. 4 (IR-4), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and the American Crop Protection Association (ACPA).

    chlorothalonil (Bravo) _ The USEPA has denied the state of Delaware's exception request for early entry into chlorothalonil-treated fields to allow hand labor harvesting of cantaloupes and squash 24 hours after application. Chlorothalonil, a wettable granular fungicide, has eye and skin irritation concerns, kidney effects and is a probable human carcinogen. In consideration of increased risks associated with performing early entry hand labor tasks on chlorothalonil-treated crops, and incomplete economic benefits information, the agency has determined that the risks outweigh the benefits of allowing early entry into chlorothalonil-treated fields for hand harvest activities. In this decision, EPA is also denying an exception to Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia, for all crops that were requested during the public comment period for Delaware's proposal. The agency will issue guidance on the type, quality and degree of specificity of the economic information that must be submitted by states and other commodity groups. The Delaware petition was reported by the Reregistration Notification Network on June 20, 1995. Additional information may be obtained from: Ms. Sara Ager, EPA, Office of Pesticide Programs, Phone: 703-305-7371, Fax: 703-308-2962, -or- Ms. Ameesha Mehta, EPA, Office of Pesticide Programs, Phone: 703-305-7371, Fax: 703-308-2962,

    permethrin (Pounce) _ It was reported in the August 9, 1995 issue of the RNN that FMC Corporation was planning to delete several uses from its Pounce label, due to the cost of reregistration. Consequently, FMC has decided to reinstate the use of fennel and mushrooms on its labels for this insecticide. Also, it should be pointed out that the deletion of sweet corn (fresh market in FL) only applies to the high rate application, formerly allowed on fresh market sweet corn in Florida. Sweet corn continues to be registered at a lower rate across the U.S., including Florida, on Pounce labels. Additional information may be obtained from: Dr. Dick L. Palmquist, FMC Corporation, Phone: 215-299-6661, Fax: 215-299-6256

    dichlorvos (DDVP) _ The USEPA has issued a preliminary determination concerning the Special Review of DDVP that proposes the cancellation of certain registrations and the modification of other registrations of DDVP. The Special Review of this organophosphate insecticide was initiated in 1988 because EPA determined it posed unreasonable carcinogenic and chlolinesterase inhibition risks. AMVAC Chemical Corporation, the sole technical registrant of DDVP, requested the voluntary deletion of several agricultural uses. These deletions were reported by the RNN on May 30, 1995. The following is a complete list of those agricultural uses requested for deletion, those proposed for modification or cancellation, and those unaffected by the action.
    Uses proposed for continued registration, with required modifications (If modifications not made, cancellation will proceed):
    Greenhouses, mushroom houses: 48-hour REI and no hand application Food and nonfood animals (other than poultry): no hand application Without modifications: insect traps, feedlots (animal premises), garbage dumps, kennels, manure and poultry.
    Uses proposed for cancellation:
    Airplanes, ornamental plants, rail cars, shipholds, trucks, turf, warehouses (including tobacco), all domestic uses, and use on bulk, packaged, or bagged processed or raw food (except for impregnated resin strips in silos).
    Requested for deletion by AMVAC:
    Food manufacturing and processing establishments, all greenhouse use (including cucumber, lettuce, radish, tomato, etc.), rangeland grasses, tobacco, tomato (postharvest), and all aerial applications.

    The USEPA is proposing not to permit the continued sale, distribution or use of dichlorvos products affected by this notice after the effective date of the Final Cancellation Notice. Furthermore, the agency is proposing that all registered agricultural products be restricted to use by certified applicators, except for insect traps and in museums. Written comments (EPA is interested in comments on all aspects of the Special Review, such as the comparative effects of dichlorvos and its alternatives, and the potential economic impact of these regulations), with mention of OPP-30000-56, should be sent to the Public Response Branch of EPA by 12/27/95. General information may be obtained from: Mr. Dennis Utterback, EPA, Special Review Branch, Phone: 703-308-8026, Fax: 703-308-8041, Written comments should be sent to: Public Response Branch (7560C), EPA, Office of Pesticide Prog., 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460,

    For additional information on any reregistration notification, contact the individual(s) listed or contact:
    Alan Schreiber
    WSU Pesticide Coordinator
    100 Sprout Road
    Richland, WA 99352-1643
    phone: 509-372-7462
    fax: 509-372-7460

    EPA revokes 16 tolerances

    The USEPA has revoked the tolerances and food and feed additive regulations established for residues of 16 pesticides listed below in or on certain raw agricultural commodities (RACS), processed foods and animal feeds. The tolerance for the herbicide barban (Carbyne) has been changed to a time-limited tolerance, which expires on 1/1/98. The USEPA is initiating this action, because the applicable registrations for these pesticides have been canceled. Pesticides with tolerance revoked as of 9/27/95:

    Common nameOther nameUse*
    cycloheximideActi-dione, Act-AidFG
    flucythrinateCybolt, Pay-OffI
    phenothiazineBar FlyI
    sulfallateCDED, VegadexH
    sodium trichloroacetateTCAH
    tecnazeneFusarex, TCNBFG

    *B = bactericide, D = desiccant, F = fungicide, G = plant regulator, H = herbicide, I = insecticide, M = miticide

    This regulation became effective on 9/27/95. Action levels have not been established in place of these revoked tolerances. Notification of the proposal for this action was provided by the RNN on 5/6/94. Written objections or a request for a hearing, identified by OPP-300328A, should be sent to the Hearing Clerk at EPA by 10/27/95. For information, contact: Mr. Owen F. Beeder, EPA, Registration Division, Phone: 703-308-8351, Fax: 703-308-8369.
    Send written comments to: Hearing Clerk (1900), EPA, Room M3708, 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460.

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    Contributors to the Agrichemical and Environmental News:

    Alan Schreiber, Allan Felsot, Catherine Daniels, Mark Antone, Carol Weisskopf, Eric Bechtel

    If you would like to include a piece in a future issue of the Agrichemical and Environmental News or subscribe to the newsletter, please contact Catherine Daniels.

    Contributions, comments and subscription inquiries may be directed to: 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:

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