UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance
University of California
UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance

Spring 2011: Two New Pests and Soil Fumigant Label Changes

Regional Report San Benito and Santa Clara Counties by Maria de la Fuente

European Grapevine Moth

The European grapevine moth (EGVM) detection program has deployed approximately 800 traps in Santa Clara County. Traps for this moth species (Lobesia botrana) have been placed in vineyards throughout the County and in secondary hosts such as olives, stone fruits and privets (Ligustrum spp.) located within the 94-square mile EGVM quarantine area. Due to limited state and federal funds, all EGVM traps will now be serviced by biologists from the Department of Agriculture on a two-week schedule. The traps will be serviced throughout the growing season and then removed in November. The first generation of adult EGVM is expected to begin flying at any time. A coordinated treatment effort will be conducted by grape producers within 500 meters of the locations where EGVM were found last September. The Agricultural Commissioner will provide information to affected growers to assist them in application timing and in selecting appropriate products. Treatment alternatives exist for both organic and conventional growing systems.

For additional information on EGVM, view the UC IPM Guideline at: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/EXOTIC/eurograpevinemoth.html.  In addition, information about the detection of this pest in Santa Cruz County and implications to the ornamental industry were discussed in a previous newsletter, available at: http://ucanr.org/sites/UCNFAnews/Archived_Stories/Regional_Reports_Archive_Winter_2011/

EGVM adult

Adult European grapevine moth, Lobesia botrana. Source: UC IPM. Photo by Jack Kelly Clark.

Glassy-winged sharpshooter and Pierce’s disease program

In 2001, glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS) infestations were discovered in Santa Clara County for the first time. Since then, a total of six separate infestations of this leafhopper (Homalodisca vitripennis) were identified which resulted in regulatory quarantines in portions of south San Jose and Saratoga. By the end of December 2010, the County’s Division of Agriculture successfully eradicated four of the six GWSS infestations in Santa Clara County.

Santa Clara County developed eradication strategies that combine the inspection of nursery shipments with intensive trapping, visual surveys, pesticide treatments and the release of natural enemies. These same methods were used to eradicate GWSS infestations in both Solano County and in Sacramento County. The strategies developed in Santa Clara County are now recommended for use in other California counties that experience GWSS infestations in urban areas.

There are two remaining GWSS infestations in Santa Clara County. Both infestations are in south San Jose — one near Capitol Expressway east of Highway 87, and the second near the intersection of Meridian Avenue and Curtner Avenue.

For additional information on GWSS and Pierce’s disease (Xylella fastidiosa), view the UC IPM Guideline at: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7492.html.

GWSS adult with eggs

Adult glassy-winged sharpshooter with eggs laid in leaf. Source: UC IPM. Photo by Jack Kelly Clark.

U.S. EPA soil fumigant label changes

In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) required registrants to make label revisions to their soil fumigant products. Based on U.S. EPA risk assessments, these revisions were needed to add improved safety measures for use of these products nationwide.         Although California has long had numerous regulations and recommended permit conditions for use of soil fumigants, these newly revised U.S. EPA labels will mandate certain changes in fumigant use in California.

Highlights of the U.S. EPA label revisions for methyl bromide, metam sodium, metam potassium, chloropicrin and dazomet soil fumigants include:

1. Limits on certain application methods.

2. Lower maximum rate of application.

3. Requires line-of-sight supervision by the certified applicator during application.

4. Requires a site-specific Fumigant Management Plan before fumigation begins; includes a comprehensive Post-Application Summary.

5. Expands who is a handler, respiratory protections and other work activities.

6. Mandates stop work triggers and air monitoring when sensory irritation is experienced by any handler involved in the application.

7. Makes all soil fumigants federal Restricted Use Products.

8. Lengthens time before tarp perforation and removal.

9. Requires the product registrant to disseminate information about the new labels.

10. Creates an Entry Restricted Period.

11. Makes certain Good Agricultural Practices mandatory, such as soil preparation, tilling and sealing.

Changes affecting use in California. In California, as in other states, the U.S. EPA label must be followed. States are allowed to impose requirements more restrictive than U.S. EPA’s, but not less restrictive. Over the years, California has passed legislation and regulations strengthening safety measures, such as personal protective equipment, and has recommended permit conditions for use of federal and California-restricted materials.

California-specific activities prompted by the new labels include the following:

1. Development of Fumigation Management Plan templates specific to California needs, approved by the U.S. EPA, and now available on DPR’s Fumigant Resource Center website at: http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/emon/methbrom/mb_main.htm.

2. Confirmation of applicator licensing subcategory O as the acceptable license.

3. Determination of where new labeling supersedes existing California requirements.

(Note that where new labeling is more restrictive than existing California laws, regulations, or permit conditions, the label must be followed.)

Future U.S. EPA label revisions. In late 2011, U.S. EPA plans to require further label revisions. These will include buffer zones around treated fields, “credits” to reduce emissions, posting at buffer zones, emergency preparedness information in the Fumigation Management Plan, registrant-developed training and community outreach including for emergency responders, notification to neighbors, notification to regulators and much more.

For background information and information about U.S. EPA’s future label changes in 2011 and in 2012, see their website at: http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/reregistration/soil_fumigants/.

Webmaster Email: jtillman@ucdavis.edu