Endosulfan phaseout announced by EPA

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

The EPA is taking action to end the use of the pesticide endosulfan. A formal Memorandum of Agreement with manufacturers of the agricultural insecticide will result in cancellation and phase-out of all existing endosulfan uses in the United States. Endosulfan is an organochlorine insecticide that has been used on a wide range of fruits and vegetables in Michigan over the years, although on a small percentage of the acres grown. A phase-out plan has been developed to allow growers time to develop and test alternative pest management tactics for the pests that endosulfan currently controls. For fruit crops grown in Michigan and the Upper Midwest, the phase-out deadlines are listed below. By the end of this year, new labels for endosulfan-containing products (Thiodan, Thionex, etc.), will contain details of the phase-out schedule.

If this phase-out plan raises concerns about the availability of pest control products for the pest complex on your farm, we suggest you talk with your local extension educator regarding registered alternatives, and gain some experience with them on part of your farm before the deadline. There are also some new miticides and insecticides being developed for some of the crops listed below and these may provide similar control. Additionally, the IR-4 program is working to support registration of new miticides and insecticides where grower organizations have supported petitions for an urgently-needed alternative to Thiodan before the phase-out deadline.

Read the complete information about endosulfan and the phase-out posted online, at the EPA website.

Deadline for last use Crops
July 31, 2010 Apricot, plum, annual strawberry, tart cherry
July 31, 2012 Other stone fruits including nectarine, peaches,  and sweet cherry
July 31, 2013 Pear
July 31, 2015 Apple, blueberry
July 31, 2016 Perennial/biennial strawberry

The work of Dr. Isaacs and Dr. Wise is funded in part by MSU‘s AgBioResearch.

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