Sugarcane aphids on sorghum leaves

EPA renews Section 18 exemption for sugarcane aphid control in Arizona sorghum

Section 18 emergency exemption granted for Transform WG insecticide use under permit for sugarcane aphid control in Arizona sorghum

For the second consecutive year, the state of Arizona has received approval for a Section 18 emergency exemption for the use under permit of the insecticide Transform WG (50 percent active ingredient sulfoxaflor) for sugarcane aphid control in sorghum, according to Ayman Mostafa and Peter Ellsworth of the University of Arizona.

The new exemption is in effect until Nov. 30, 2017.

The Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA) sought the exemption. Click here to read the Environmental Protection Agency’s Section 18 approval notice.

 (Click this link to listen to a Farm Press podcast on Dow AgroSciences’ efforts to maintain Transform WF insecticide’s Section 18 emergency exemptions while seeking full registration for the product.)

Growers who want to use Transform WG must first complete an ADA form and return it to the agency by e-mail at [email protected]. If approved, the agency will provide a Section 18 label which must be kept in your possession when using Transform WG under the exemption.

Then, take the approved permit to your local retailer to purchase Transform WG. All applications must be included on ADA’s Form 1080 and submitted to the Department of Agriculture.

Telltale signs of sugarcane aphid include black sooty mold on sorghum leaves after sufficient levels of honeydew – the sugary substance excreted by the sugarcane aphid – are present. The mold prohibits the leaf’s ability to collect sunlight, robbing the plant of essential photosynthesis essential for growth. Sticky plants are difficult to harvest and are subject to other fungi growing when stored.

Further damage is caused when aphid feeding causes the plant to dry out which reduces moisture levels below the amount needed for fermentation as silage. Plants stressed by the pest also have a reduced ability to fill the grain head.

Transform WG restrictions

There are several important restrictions for product application under the exemption:

Ground or air application may be made at 0.75-1.5 ounces per acre, with maximum of two applications per year (maximum 3 ounces/acre/year);

  • Do not apply the product three days pre-bloom or until after seed set;
  • Applications are prohibited above 10 miles per hour wind speed;
  • Applications must be made with medium to coarse spray nozzles (with median droplet size of 341 µm or greater);
  • Re-treatments are prohibited within 14 days of application. A restricted entry interval of 24 hours applies to all applications; and
  • Do not apply within 14 days of grain or straw harvest or within 7 days of grazing or forage, fodder, or hay harvest.

Call the ADA at (602) 542-3578 with any questions about the permit, reporting, or the Section 18 label.

A Section 18 Transform WG label was granted last fall to help Arizona sorghum growers fight a large outbreak of sugarcane aphid in Pinal, Maricopa, and Pima counties.

Sugarcane aphid also targeted sorghum fields in California’s San Joaquin Valley last year.

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