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EPA posting a 15-day comment period on Section 18 for Transform on cotton
Author: Gus Lorenz, Extension Entomologist

By Gus Lorenz, Extension Entomologist

The Section 18 for the use of Transform (sulfoxaflor) use in cotton in the states of AR, MS and TN will have a 15 day comment period ending May 20, 2016. The link to post a comment is:

I know everyone is busy this time of year and it’s not easy to take the time to do this kind of thing. However, if you have strong feelings about maintaining control of plant bug in cotton this is one time you should take the time and let EPA know what you think.

The 2014 and 2015 season resulted in even higher pressure from tarnished plant bug resulting in another increase in the average number of applications required to attempt an acceptable level of control for tarnished plant bug. Cost of control went from over $30 per acre to about $43 per acre the last two years. No other pest comes close to the loss associated with this pest. In Arkansas there are areas where plant bugs are not as much of an issue and others where plant bugs are very bad, this is confounded by the fact that both types of areas can and do occur in the same county or area. We need every tool we can get to manage tarnished plant bugs. Tarnished plant bug represents a real threat to the cotton producers in Arkansas and the Mid-South.

Sulfoxaflor (Transform) has been used by producers in Arkansas and the Mid-South since 2012 in cotton for control of tarnished plant bugs. Since its introduction, Transform has reduced overall tarnished plant bug applications and provided significant yield increases and returns in gross revenues. It is estimated that control cost would increase $18 to $25 in the absence of Transform.  The environmental cost associated with tarnished plant bug management would also be greater in the absence of Transform as our best alternatives are much more detrimental to pollinators and other beneficials.  Transform is considered a foundational product in Arkansas and the Mid-South cotton IPM programs in cotton due to its safety on beneficial insects. Since 2013, Transform has been used on more than three million acres across the Mid-South region with zero reported incidents of adverse effects on bees or other pollinators.

The deadline is May 20. Don’t delay if you want to make a comment.

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