DATCP: Comments requested for special ginseng pesticide registration

Contact: Donna Gilson, (608) 224-5130

MADISON – Comments are needed on a proposed special pesticide registration for control of insects in ginseng.

The special registration proposed by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will allow growers to use Lorsban® 15G on ginseng for control of several kinds of larvae, or immature stage, of insects: cutworms, grubs, rootworms, and wireworms. Lorsban® 15G contains the active ingredient chlorpyrifos and is registered by Dow AgroSciences LLC, Indianapolis, IN.

The special registration process allows the state agriculture department to register pesticide products without prior federal approval. This provides states flexibility to meet local needs such as controlling weeds, plant diseases, or in this case, insects. The larvae feed on young ginseng roots, thereby causing damage that can result in reduced yield of ginseng roots. Lorsban is currently registered in Wisconsin for use to control these insects in various field and vegetable crops, but not ginseng.

The proposed special registration will allow one application of Lorsban® 15G per crop, at a rate of 13.5 lb product per acre, and not within 365 days of ginseng harvest. The product could be used either before planting the crop or after the plants have emerged. From 2008 to 2010, growers were only able to use the product as a pre-plant broadcast application; the proposed registration provides more flexibility.

This is not the first request to use Lorsban 15G for this purpose. The Department previously issued a similar registration in 2008. At the request of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the registration was withdrawn. Instead, ginseng growers were able to use Lorsban 15G under emergency exemptions authorized by EPA in 2008, 2009, and 2010. EPA recently determined this request is now eligible for authorization at the state level as an SLN registration.

The active ingredient diazinon previously addressed these insect management needs in Wisconsin ginseng production. However, in 2006 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required “all soil pests and associated directions for use” related to ginseng production to be deleted from diazinon product labels. The Ginseng Board of Wisconsin reported that growers are unable to find these products in the marketplace and have used up or are using up existing stocks.

Other pesticide products registered for use on ginseng are not registered for control of these insects, or are registered only for use on ginseng foliage, and may not be effective against these soil pests. Other practices used by ginseng growers, such as choosing uninfested sites and tilling thoroughly before planting, are not adequate means of control by themselves.

If approved, the special registration will remain in effect until December 31, 2015.

The preliminary environmental assessment indicates the proposed registration will not require a full environmental impact statement.

For a copy of the environmental assessment, contact Matt Sunseri, P.O. Box 8911, Madison, WI 53708-8911, (608) 224-4547 or review the assessment at the department, Mon.-Fri., 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 2811 Agriculture Dr., Madison, 2nd floor. Comments received on or before 4:30 p.m., April 29, 2011 will become part of the preliminary environmental assessment record. Send comments to Matt by mail at the above address.