You may be aware that the registration of sulfoxaflor, the active ingredient in the Sequoia and Transform insecticides, was recently cancelled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
On Nov 12, EPA issued a cancellation order for sulfoxaflor products resulting from a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that vacated the product registration.
Based on a lawsuit filed by a beekeepers and beekeeper associations (Sulfoxaflor Court opinion), the court ruled that the EPA did not have sufficient data to unconditionally register sulfoxaflor for use on agricultural crops due to concerns over pollinator protection.
So, what does this mean for our local winter vegetable industry?
First, growers who presently have Sequoia or Transform in their inventory can continue to use the products on labeled crops provided they follow the terms on the preexisting label. However, existing product in the hands of retailers or distributors cannot be sold to growers for use in winter vegetables.
This means no new product can be purchased until a new registration is in place.
On a positive note, Dow AgroSciences has assured the industry that they are working diligently with the EPA to achieve renewed registrations for these important products. Given the extensive scientific data that Dow has already generated for sulfoxaflor, they expect the pollinator protection concerns filed in the lawsuit to be thoroughly addressed by EPA through further review of scientific data.
In the meantime, local growers and pest control advisers (PCAs) have available alternatives to use for the remainder of the season, albeit not all provide the same level of cost-effective control as Sequoia.
For aphid control, PCAs can use Movento and imidacloprid soil applications at planting. Foliar alternatives, including Assail, Sivanto, and Beleaf are also good aphicides, yet do not provide the same level of residual control of Sequoia and Movento.
Under heavy aphid pressure, PCAs should be prepared to max out their Movento uses (two applications) and will likely need to make additional foliar sprays with the remaining alternatives.
For the control of lygus on crops including celery and lettuce, PCAs should rely on Beleaf, Vydate, and Acephate.
For more information on the recent cancellation of sulfoxaflor, go online to http://www2.epa.gov/pesticides/cancellation-order-issued-sulfoxaflor.
Note: This information is from the UA’s Vegetable IPM Update e-newsletter and is reprinted with Dr. Palumbo’s permission.