Sulfoxaflor Registered for New Uses

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just issued a long-term approval for the insecticide sulfoxaflor, which the Agency has characterized as “an effective tool to control challenging pests with fewer environmental impacts.” The following information is from today’s EPA OPP Update.

“After conducting an extensive risk analysis, including the review of one of the agency’s largest datasets on the effects of a pesticide on bees, EPA is approving the use of sulfoxaflor on alfalfa, corn, cacao, grains (millet, oats), pineapple, sorghum, teff, teosinte, tree plantations, citrus, cotton, cucurbits (squash, cucumbers, watermelons, some gourds), soybeans, and strawberries.

EPA is providing long-term certainty for U.S. growers to use an important tool to protect crops and avoid potentially significant economic losses, while maintaining strong protection for pollinators,” said Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Today’s decision shows the agency’s commitment to making decisions that are based on sound science.”

Sulfoxaflor is an important and highly effective tool for growers that targets difficult pests such as sugarcane aphids and tarnished plant bugs, also known as lygus. These pests can damage crops and cause significant economic loss. Additionally, there are few viable alternatives for sulfoxaflor for these pests. In many cases, alternative insecticides may be effective only if applied repeatedly or in a tank mix, whereas sulfoxaflor often requires fewer applications, resulting in less risk to aquatic and terrestrial wildlife.

EPA’s registration also includes updated requirements for product labels, which will include crop-specific restrictions and pollinator protection language.

*Background*

In 2016, following a 2015 decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacating the registration of sulfoxaflor citing inadequate data on the effects on bees, EPA reevaluated the data and approved registrations that did not include crops that attract bees. The 2016 registration allowed fewer uses than the initial registration and included additional interim restrictions on application while new data on bees were being obtained. Today’s action, adding new uses, restoring previous uses, and removing certain application restrictions is backed by substantial data supporting the use of sulfoxaflor.

For additional information, please visit the EPA website.

Sorghum Growers Encouraged to Keep an Eye Out for Sugarcane Aphid this Season

Kelly Hamby, kahamby@umd.edu Assistant Professor/Extension Specialist, Department of Entomology

Ben Beale, bbeale@umd.edu Extension Educator, UME-St. Mary’s County

Sugarcane Aphid was found late last fall in Charles County, Maryland in a sorghum field that was being harvested for grain. Aphid populations were very high, with feeding present in the grain head and leaves. This is the first time that sugarcane aphid has been found in Maryland. While this aphid has caused substantial losses to sorghum in states to our South, it is unknown if the aphid will be present early enough and at high enough populations to cause significant injury in Maryland. Growers are encouraged to monitor sorghum fields through the summer for the presence of sugarcane aphid. We suspect sugarcane aphids are most likely to arrive later in the season in Maryland. Continue reading Sorghum Growers Encouraged to Keep an Eye Out for Sugarcane Aphid this Season