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					             VOL. 5, NO. 4 – JUNE 2006




 MISS. DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE & COMMERCE – LESTER SPELL, JR., D.V.M., COMMISSIONER – MIKE TAGERT, DIRECTOR


Spell’s leadership improves exotic pest control
                     By Patti Drapala
                         ----------
      Leadership shown by Agriculture Commissioner
Lester Spell in securing Mississippi's membership in
the Interstate Pest Control Compact should improve
the state's ability to quickly contain threatening out-
breaks of exotic plant pests.
      Spell's tenure as Mississippi Agriculture
Commissioner has allowed him to deal with a myriad
of plant pest scenarios. When the need became appar-
ent, the Commissioner pursued membership in the
Interstate Pest Control Compact. This spring,
Mississippi became the 37th state to join after enabling
legislation was passed. Spell agreed to serve as Compact
Administrator for the state of Mississippi.
      "The Compact allows states to react quickly to
significant exotic pest outbreaks by overcoming
funding restraints and jurisdictional gaps," Spell said.
"This cooperation makes plant pest control achiev-
able beyond physical state boundaries."                       Should a sudden exotic plant pest outbreak occur, rice (pictured) and
                 Spell’s leadership continued on back page   other agricultural crops need a quick response. Photos by Patti Drapala.


Fuel, fertilizer prices drive decisions                                                                                     INSIDE
                  By Harry C. Ballard                        has caused farmers to look at new ways to cut            Section 18 on diuron
                                                                                                                                           Tommy McDaniel, page 2
                        ----------                           expenses while still maintaining high yields.
                                                                                                                      Sweet potato weevil monitoring
     While higher fuel and fertilizer costs are hav-              Some farmers have adjusted by changing to                                   Benny Graves, page 3
ing a significant impact on planting decisions,              no-till crop production to reduce the number of          Mosquito misting systems
long-term positive changes within the very nature            trips made with farm equipment across the                                         Larry Thead, page 3
of farming could result from the introspection               fields. Others have saved money by using                 More beekeepers sought
and innovation Mississippi farmers are using to              ground rigs instead of aircraft to apply fertilizer.                             Harry Fulton, page 4
deal with these problems.                                    Many farmers have utilized precision satellite           Purchasing pest control
     "The concern for farmers is the sudden                  technology as a decision making tool for fertil-                                  Larry Thead, page 4
upward surge of fuel prices," said Mississippi               izer and lime applications.                              Complete tests for seed
                                                                                                                                               Fabian Watts, page 5
Agriculture Commissioner Lester Spell. "After                     Because natural gas is a component in man-
                                                                                                                      Special tests for seed
factoring these increases into the overall produc-           ufacturing nitrogen fertilizers, higher prices for                                Fabian Watts, page 5
tion outlay, many farmers are discovering that fuel          natural gas have increased fertilizer costs. Some        Managing boll weevil eradication
now accounts for at least one-fourth of their total          farmers have actually changed crops to decrease                                 Denise Clanton, page 6
input expenditures."                                         fertilizer inputs. For example, corn and rice            Nursery monitoring for CAPS
     Spending additional money on diesel and                 require larger amounts of nitrogen fertilizer                                   Kenneth Calcote, page 6
gasoline has decreased the viability of many                 than soybeans. As a result, some farmers intend          WPS defines “pesticide handler”
farms. Fuel costs have increased about 30 percent            to plant more soybeans.                                                            Steve Moore, page 7
in the last year, but farm commodity prices are not                                                                   Certification, renewals, events
                                                                                                                                                              page 7
keeping pace with these increases. The situation                                 Fuel prices continued on back page
Spell obtains diuron products for catfish farmers
               By Tommy McDaniel                         stance can give the flesh of the fish a musty or muddy        The trade names of the products receiving the
                      ----------                         off-flavor. When blue-green algae release MIB, catfish   Section 18 are Direx 4L, Karmex XP and Karmex
     Off-flavor has been identified as one of the        absorb the substance into the bloodstream when pond      DF, all manufactured by Griffin LLC. The exemp-
most serious problems facing the catfish industry        water passes through their gills.                        tion expires Nov. 1, 2006.
because of the potential damage to consumer                   The compound travels through the blood and               Statistics released by the Mississippi State
confidence. The off-flavor problem is caused by a        is deposited into the flesh of the fish. While catfish   University Extension Service in December 2005 indi-
compound produced by blue-green algae and                can purge MIB from their bodies, producers incur         cate the importance of the catfish industry to the
released into pond water.                                considerable costs holding affected fish in the          state's economy. Farm-raised catfish ended the year
     The compound is known as MIB (2-methylisobor-       ponds for several weeks for this process to com-         with an estimated economic value of $272 million to
neol). Even an extremely low concentration of the sub-   plete.                                                   the state.
                                                              To prevent the negative consequences that                The department has authority under Section 18
                                                         would occur if off-flavored fish were marketed,          of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide
                                                         catfish processors require producers to bring in         Act (FIFRA) to obtain an emergency exemption for
                                                         fish samples for flavor checks before a planned          a non-labeled use of a pesticide if the following cri-
                                                         harvest. An off-flavor result will cancel the har-       teria apply:
                                                         vest until fish are on-flavor. The only way to con-           1. Significant losses of an agricultural com-
                                                         trol off-flavor is to use algicides to eliminate the     modity are likely.
                                                         blue-green algae. Several copper-based algicides              2. Alternative, registered products are not
                                                         registered for use in catfish ponds have the poten-      available or effective.
                                                         tial to kill beneficial plants as well as non-benefi-         Provisions of the emergency exemption are
                                                         cial plants in the ponds because the products are        administered by the Bureau of Plant Industry. The
                                                         non-selective.                                           department has obtained an emergency exemption
                                                              In April, Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner      for diuron for the past nine years and is working with
                                                         Lester Spell obtained an emergency exemption             EPA and the aquaculture industry in obtaining a full
                                                         from the United States Environmental Protection          registration for this use. Catfish producers can call
                                                         Agency (EPA) on three diuron herbicides that are         Tommy McDaniel at (662) 325-3390 for more infor-
                                                         allowing producers to control blue-green algae in        mation on the exemption.
                                                         catfish ponds this year.                                                        ----------
   The availability of diuron has                             "The availability of diuron products for pond                  Tommy McDaniel is Director of
  helped catfish farmers minimize                        management is vital to sustain the health of                             the Pesticide Division.
 off-flavor. Photo by Patti Drapala.                     Mississippi's catfish industry," Spell said.                       E-mail: TommyM@mdac.state.ms.us



                                                           Fungicides With Section 18s For Asian Soybean Rust
                                                                    PRODUCT                          COMMON NAME                        MANUFACTURER
  The Plant Industry News is published quarterly                  Propimax EC                         propiconazole               Dow AgroSciences
  (March, June, September and December) by the                         Tilt                           propiconazole            Syngenta Crop Protection
  Bureau of Plant Industry, a division of the                       Bumper                            propiconazole               Makhteshim-Agan
  Mississippi Department of Agriculture and                          Folicur                          tebuconazole                Bayer Corporation
  Commerce. Subscriptions are free. For new sub-                    Uppercut                          tebuconazole                     Dupont
  scriptions or changes of address, contact Patti                     Orius                           tebuconazole                Makhteshim-Agan
  Drapala either by e-mail at Patti@mdac.state.ms.us               Laredo EC                           myclobutanil               Dow AgroSciences
  with “Newsletter Subscription” in the e-mail                     Laredo EW                           myclobutanil               Dow AgroSciences
  subject line, or by telephone at (662) 325-3393.                  Stratego                   propiconazole & trifloxystrobin    Bayer Corporation
  You can also access the Plant Industry News on the                Domark                            tetraconazole                Isagro USA, Inc.
  Internet at http://www.mdac.state.ms.us. Click on               Headline SBR                 pyraclostrobin & tebuconazole      BASF Corporation
  the Publications link.                                              Quilt                    propiconazole & azoxystrobin Syngenta Crop Protection
  BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY
  P.O. Box 5207
  Mississippi State, MS 39762
  Phone: (662) 325-3390; Fax: (662) 325-0397
                                                                   Products Registered For Asian Soybean Rust
  ADMINISTRATION                                                    PRODUCT                          COMMON NAME                        MANUFACTURER
  Lester Spell, Jr., D.V.M. - Commissioner                Bravo WeatherStik Flowable                 chlorothalonil                 Syngenta Crop Protection
  Mike Tagert - Agency Director                              Echo 720 Flowable                       chlorothalonil                    Sipcam Agro Inc.
  Butch Alpe - Deputy Director                                Quadris Flowable                        azoxystrobin                  Syngenta Crop Protection
  Harry Fulton - State Entomologist                               Headline                           pyraclostrobin                    BASF Corporation
  NEWSLETTER                                                      Pristine                      boscalid & pyraclostrobin              BASF Corporation
  Patti Drapala - Public Relations Director



JUNE 2006                                                       PLANT INDUSTRY NEWS                                                                         PAGE 2
Sweet potato weevil monitoring takes teamwork
                  By Benny Graves
                       ----------
     Mississippi has a strong and vibrant sweet
potato industry. The state has more than 16,700
commercial acres of sweet potatoes and ranks
third in production nationally. The crop's value to
Mississippi's agricultural economy in 2005 was
estimated at $58 million, according to statistics
from the Mississippi Sweet Potato Council.
     The most destructive insect pest of sweet
potatoes in the United States is the sweet potato
weevil, Cylas formicarius elegantulus (Summers). This
pest was first introduced into southern Mississippi
in the early 1900s and has now established itself in
home gardens and wild host plants in the south-
ern third of the state. The presence of sweet
potato weevils in south Mississippi is one of the
main reasons why most commercial acreage is
located in the weevil-free, northern half of the
state.
     Because of the highly destructive nature of
this particular weevil, the Bureau of Plant
Industry (BPI) regulates the movement of this
insect and its hosts through quarantine regula-
tions. With the advent of pheromone bait, the
Bureau began monitoring all commercial sweet
potato farms for the presence of the weevils in
1995. The annual monitoring program has been a
successful tool to protect the crop and provide
access to national and international markets.
     "The sweet potato weevil monitoring pro-
gram is a perfect example of the Bureau of Plant
Industry working with an agricultural commodity
group to protect a food crop from harmful pests,"
said Mike Tagert, director of the Bureau.                Traps are set during the production season to monitor for sweet potato
     Working closely with growers, Bureau person-          weevils. Benny Graves checks such a trap. Photo by Patti Drapala.
nel set and check pheromone traps in plant beds,        which verifies the potatoes were produced in a wee-            Growers and consumers that want more infor-
fields and storage facilities each year. The goal is    vil-free area monitored with pheromone traps. Each         mation on the sweet potato weevil monitoring pro-
early detection and eradication of any infestation of   box shipped must carry this identification. Almost 3       gram can contact Benny Graves at (662) 325-3390.
sweet potato weevils. Last year, more than 1,800        million certificate tags were issued for Mississippi-                           ----------
traps were monitored. No weevils were detected.         grown sweet potatoes in 2005. Consumers may often            Benny Graves is Plant Pest Division Director.
     Sweet potatoes sold to states that also produce    see these certificate tags with sweet potato displays at             E-mail: Benny@mdac.state.ms.us
sweet potatoes are required to carry certification,     the local grocery store.


Mosquito misting system purchase requires research
                   By Larry Thead                            The Bureau of Plant Industry does not regu-           category "Control of Pests in Homes, Businesses
                       ----------                       late the installation of the misting systems or the        and Industries."
     Installation of mosquito misting systems is a      purchase of general-use insecticides for use in the             Only general-use insecticides that target specific
rapidly expanding industry in Mississippi.              systems.                                                   pests such as mosquitoes should be used in the sys-
     Mosquito misting systems work by applying               Homeowners who install the systems may                tems. The systems should never be used to control
insecticide as a fine mist to the areas being treat-    place general-use insecticides specifically labeled        ground-dwelling arthropods such as fire ants, crick-
ed. The insecticide is held in a holding reservoir      for mosquito control into the systems and may              ets, spiders, fleas and ticks. Restricted-use pesticides
and applied to the desired areas through nylon or       operate them without a license.                            (RUPs) and pesticides not labeled for the pest target-
copper tubing fitted with spray nozzles. The sys-            The Bureau of Plant Industry requires a system        ed should never be used in a mosquito misting sys-
tem is installed to the outside of the home or          installer (other than the homeowner) to be licensed if:    tem.
along fence lines at about 10-foot intervals.                    The system installer places insecticide into a         For more information on pest control, contact
     Automated timers mist areas for brief periods      system reservoir.                                          Larry Thead at (662) 325-3390.
of time, usually less than 30 seconds, several times             The system installer operates and maintains                               ----------
each day.                                               the system.                                                      Larry Thead, Ph.D., is Branch Director,
     Any insect that is sensitive to the insecticide         If licensing is required, a system installer must                        Pesticide Division.
mist will be killed.                                    be commercially certified and hold a license in the                  E-mail: LarryT@mdac.state.ms.us


JUNE 2006                                                      PLANT INDUSTRY NEWS                                                                             PAGE 3
Beekeepers essential to sustain food, fiber crops
                  By Harry Fulton
                       ----------
    In the early 1900s, the developing commercial
honey bee industry in Mississippi lost more than
50 percent of its bee colonies to the devastating
effects of American foulbrood (AFB) disease.
The State Legislature responded to beekeepers'
requests for help by passing the Mississippi Bee
Disease Act in 1920.
    Since that time, the incidence of AFB in
Mississippi has been held to less than 1 percent
each year after regulatory controls were imple-
mented. However, the discovery of two types of
parasitic mites in the late 1980s marked the begin-
ning of the demise of the state's wild honey bee



                                                              A closeup of Farris Homan’s honey bees. Photo by Mark Kelley.
                                                      populations. The loss of wild bees and the declin-            "The value of honey bees as pollinators of
                                                      ing interest in beekeeping have caused a shortage        cotton, soybeans, legumes, melons and orchard fruit
                                                      of honey bees for pollination and honey produc-          is often forgotten," said Mississippi Agriculture
                                                      tion.                                                    Commissioner Lester Spell. "The beekeeping indus-
                                                           According to current beekeeping-industry            try must be sustained so we can continue to enjoy
                                                      statistics, the estimated economic value of honey        the overall quality of our agricultural and horticul-
                                                      bees in pollinating plants for food and fiber crops in   tural crops."
                                                      Mississippi varies between $250 million and $350              Because the numbers of wild and managed
                                                      million each year. Beekeepers in the state annually      hives have declined, more people should consider
                                                      produce between 1.1 million and 1.6 million pounds       becoming beekeepers. William Shakespeare wrote:
                                                      of honey valued at $1 million. Mississippi currently     "He is not worthy of the honeycomb that shuns
                                                      ranks No. 24 among states in honey production.           the hive because the bees have stings." Perhaps
                                                           The Mississippi Department of Agriculture           Shakespeare was attempting to explain whether
                                                      and Commerce has provided regulatory assistance          "to bee or not to bee." That is the question for
                                                      to prevent pest problems and, as a result, has           future beekeepers.
                                                      developed a strong working relationship with bee-             For information on beekeeping, contact
                                                      keepers. The department sponsors beekeeping              Harry Fulton at (662) 325-3390.
    Beekeeper Farris Homan of                         workshops, assists in promotional events, hosts                                 ----------
  Shannon, Miss., checks one of                       the beekeepers' Web site www.mshoneybee.org and                  Harry Fulton is State Entomologist.
  his hives. Photo by Mark Kelley.                    publishes the Bee News and Views newsletter.                       E-mail: Harry@mdac.state.ms.us


Consumer must decide what’s needed before buying pest control
                  By Larry Thead                           Companies hired to do pest or weed control          a one-time, periodic or regular treatment is need-
                      ----------                      work on a homeowner's property should willingly          ed. Pests of households and lawns generally are
    When insects, rodents and other pests co-         provide proof of being licensed, bonded and              treated more frequently, but each situation may be
inhabit homes or weeds invade lawns, the pest         insured, and must post their business name on com-       different.
control industry is often called to remedy the con-   pany vehicles.                                                As with most services, it is wise to get more
sumer's problem. Before making the call, con-              Unlicensed pest control, weed control and lawn      than one cost estimate. Compare the estimates
sumers need to make sure they know what ques-         maintenance companies sometimes may solicit to           and services provided to make the wisest deci-
tions to ask and what to look for before they hire    do pest or weed control. This solicitation is illegal    sions. Check with friends and family to determine
a company to do pest or weed control.                 and can result in significant fines and/or additional    the reputations of the companies.
    Pest and weed control companies operating in      regulatory action.                                            If a company issues a contract for pest or weed
Mississippi are regulated and licensed by the              "Do not hire unlicensed companies to work           control, make sure the contract is read, understood
Mississippi Department of Agriculture and             for you," said Mike Tagert, director of the Bureau.      and signed before allowing a company representative
Commerce through the Bureau of Plant Industry.        "Individuals applying pesticides without a license       to begin treatment of a home or lawn. For more
Each company must have at least one employee          may not have the necessary training, can damage          information on regulation of pest and weed control
with a current Mississippi license in the category    your property and put your family and the gener-         services, contact Larry Thead at (662) 325-3390.
where business is being solicited and conducted.      al public at risk."                                                              ----------
Proof of education and/or experience in pest               Once consumers are confident the company                   Larry Thead, Ph.D., is Branch Director,
and/or weed control is required of individuals        is licensed, they should let the representative                            Pesticide Division.
prior to them being approved to take license          determine the nature of the pest or weed prob-                      E-mail: LarryT@mdac.state.ms.us
examinations.                                         lem. The type of problem will determine whether


JUNE 2006                                                    PLANT INDUSTRY NEWS                                                                        PAGE 4
“Complete test” furnishes data on seed potential
                   By Fabian Watts
                        ----------
     Seed testing was developed to aid agriculture
in crop production by furnishing needed informa-
tion. This information is valuable to seed produc-
ers, dealers, processors and merchants as a guide
and reflects seed value.
     A standard analysis furnishes information on
seed composition and the ability of seed to produce.
Seed samples collected by the Bureau of Plant
Industry are subjected to a "complete test" per-
formed by the Mississippi Seed Testing Laboratory.
A complete test consists of a "standard germination"
and a "purity test." Testing is carried out according to
"The Rules For Testing Seed" guidelines of the
Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA).
     Germination and purity testing are stan-
dardized so they can be repeated with minimal
variation by other laboratories. A complete test
will determine if seed has been labeled correct-
ly and also provides necessary information for
the label.
        STANDARD GERMINATION
     Germination tests are performed under opti-
mum conditions to determine the potential of
seed to produce normal seedlings. "The Rules For                Seed analyst Kathy Collier examines standard germination results.
Testing Seed" guidelines give procedures for tem-                                    Photo by Patti Drapala
perature and the number of days at that tempera-           ferent kinds of seed. A purity test determines the                             ----------
ture for seed to obtain the best germination.              percentage of pure seed, inert matter, weed seed                   Fabian Watts is Director of the
                   PURITY TEST                             and other crop seed in a seed lot.                               Mississippi Seed Testing Laboratory.
     Also outlined in "The Rules For Testing Seed"              For more information on seed testing, con-                    E-mail: Fabian@mdac.state.ms.us
guidelines are procedures for purity tests on dif-         tact Fabian Watts at (662) 325-3993.


“Special tests” enhance information to assess seed
                   By Fabian Watts                         rely on the action of dehydrogenase enzymes to                  HERBICIDE TOLERANCE TEST
                        ----------                         release hydrogen ions that subsequently reduce                 Seed are treated with a solution of glyphosate-
     The Mississippi Seed Testing Laboratory con-          colorless, water-soluble tetrazolium salt to for-         based herbicide, planted in germinators and evalu-
ducts several additional tests known as "special           mazan (a red, water-insoluble compound). Living           ated for tolerance. Seed that tolerate glyphosate will
tests" to compare information provided by a com-           cells turn red while dead cells remain colorless.         develop normally while intolerant seed will be
plete test. Special tests consist of the following:        TZ tests can normally be completed within 24              abnormal.
         COOL TEST FOR COTTON                              hours.                                                                    MOISTURE TEST
     Cool germination test results indicate if cotton              ACCELERATED-AGING TEST                                 A Motomco moisture meter is utilized to
seed are suitable for planting in cool soil. Seed lots                         (SOYBEANS)                            determine the moisture content of seed. Moisture
producing a high percentage of vigorous seedlings               This test exposes seed to the two most impor-        content is important to seed conditioners and
can be planted under a wide range of field condi-          tant environmental variables that influence deteriora-    producers in determining suitability for storage
tions. Lots producing fewer vigorous seedlings             tion: high temperatures and high relative humidity.       and can also indicate expected mechanical damage
should be planted only under more favorable field          Soybeans are aged at 41 degrees Celsius for 72 hours      in a lot of seed.
conditions.                                                at or near 100-percent relative humidity. The seed are           MECHANICAL DAMAGE TEST
            COLD TEST FOR CORN                             then planted according to the standard germination                        FOR SOYBEANS
     This test utilizes soil, high moisture and low        test. After a specified period of time, seed are evalu-        Soybeans are soaked in a solution of bleach for
temperatures to determine seed quality when                ated for normal and abnormal seedlings. The germi-        five minutes. If there is a crack in the seed coat, the
planted under a wide range of environmental con-           nation response is related to performance of a seed       solution will separate the coat from the cotyledon
ditions. It is often desirable to plant corn early.        lot in the field under a wide range of environmental      (leaf of the plant embryo). This separation causes a
     Early planting carries risk of poor field ger-        conditions.                                               bubble to appear, indicating mechanical damage.
mination associated with high soil-moisture con-             NOXIOUS WEED SEED EXAMINATION                                For more information on seed testing, contact
tent, low soil temperature and microbial activity.              This examination determines the number of            Fabian Watts at (662) 325-3993.
The cold test measures the ability of seed to ger-         seed, bulblets or tubers of individual noxious                                   ----------
minate under adverse conditions.                           weeds present per unit-weight in a lot of seed.                     Fabian Watts is Director of the
         TETRAZOLIUM (TZ) TESTS                            Samples of certified rice seed are examined for                  Mississippi Seed Testing Laboratory.
     The tetrazolium (TZ) test provides a rapid            the presence of red rice (a noxious weed) by                         E-mail: Fabian@mdac.state.ms.us
evaluation of the vigor of viable seed. TZ tests           grinding the sample with a McGill rice miller.


JUNE 2006                                                         PLANT INDUSTRY NEWS                                                                           PAGE 5
Corporation develops eradication program support
                 By Denise Clanton                             The committee recommended the division of         reductions in the number of treatments applied to
                      ----------                          the state into five geographic regions:                fields and decreases in grower assessment rates
     The Mississippi Boll Weevil Management                        Region IA (North Delta).                      for publication and broadcast by the news media.
Corporation was formed in February 1992 to assist                  Region 1B (North Delta).                           "In 2006, portions of Mississippi moved into
cotton growers in eradication of the boll weevil.                  Region II (South Delta).                      the post-eradication phase of the eradication pro-
MSBWMC (referred to here as "the corporation")                     Region III (Central Hills).                   gram," said Dr. Jeannine Smith, executive director
was designated the "Certified Cotton Growers                       Region IV (East).                             of the corporation. "As we move into this new
Organization" to carry out the Boll Weevil                     Referenda were held in each region to obtain      era, we will continue to develop plans for mainte-
Management Act passed by the State Legislature in         grower approval. In 1997, eradication was initiat-     nance of weevil-free zones and completion of the
1993.                                                     ed in Regions III and IV. Region II began eradica-     job in the few areas with remaining weevil popu-
     To contribute to the financial integrity of the      tion in 1998 and was followed in 1999 by Regions       lations."
program, the act authorized the Bureau of Plant           IA and IB.                                                  The diligence shown by the corporation in
Industry (BPI) to collect assessment fees from                 Since the program's establishment, the corpo-     managing the program, building support with the
participants and disburse those funds to the cor-         ration has focused on several objectives:              Bureau and maintaining a network of cooperation
poration. Assessment fees are used by the corpo-               1. Development and implementation of a com-       among all interested parties will hopefully result in
ration to cover eradication expenses.                     puterized system of reporting boll weevil trapping     Mississippi achieving "eradication status" in the
     The corporation, whose Board of Directors are        data. This system is continually monitored and         near future.
cotton growers elected from each eradication region       modified to meet changing program needs.                    "The successful eradication of the boll weevil
of the state, works with the Southeastern Boll                 2. Maintenance of the Geographic Information      will give our cotton growers a tremendous econom-
Weevil Eradication Foundation (SEBWEF; referred           System (GIS) Project that involves the input of cur-   ic advantage in managing resources to produce and
to here as "the foundation") to complete a success-       rent field information into a database for timely      market a quality crop," said Mike Tagert, director of
ful program in Mississippi.                               access and better program management.                  the Bureau. "At that point, the program's intrinsic
     At the beginning of the program in 1993, the              3. Promotion and support through cooperative      value to agriculture will be realized."
Board cooperated with the Mississippi Technical           work with the foundation and the Bureau on mat-                               ----------
Advisory Committee to develop an eradication plan         ters affecting growers.                                        Denise Clanton is Branch Director,
and educate cotton growers on the importance of                The corporation releases information high-                 Boll Weevil Eradication Program.
participation.                                            lighting the declining numbers of boll weevils,                  E-mail: DeniseC@mdac.state.ms.us

New plant pest threats justify need for nursery monitoring
                 By Kenneth Calcote                                                                              Mississippi's Noxious Weed List. The state currently
                        ----------                                                                               has infestations of giant salvinia near Hattiesburg
      The potential for introduction of new exotic                                                               and Gautier. Eradication efforts with biological con-
plant pests into Mississippi and the United States                                                               trol are currently being implemented by the Bureau.
increases every year because of expanding world                                                                          MONITORING EFFORTS FOR
trade and travel. These pests include insects, dis-                                                                    NON-DETECTED PLANT PESTS
eases and noxious plants harmful to native plants                                                                     Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis)
and the natural ecosystem of the state.                                                                               This metallic-green insect disrupts the flow of
      The Bureau of Plant Industry's mission is to                                                               nutrients in ash trees by feeding on tissue under
protect the state's agriculture industry and the                                                                 the bark. This pest is present in Michigan, Ohio
environment from damaging effects of plant                                                                       and Indiana where eradication efforts are in place.
pests. The Bureau inspects plants at every nursery                                                                   Pink hibiscus mealybug (Maconellicoccus hirsutus)
in Mississippi several times a year for the presence                                                                  This insect injects a toxin from its saliva that
of exotic plant pests. By monitoring nurseries, the                                                              damages leaves. This pest has been discovered in
Bureau can detect and eradicate exotic pests                                                                     Florida where eradication and biological control
before they become established.                                                                                  are in place.
      The Bureau works with the United States                                                                         Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis)
Department of Agriculture (USDA) to carry out the                                                                     This insect lays eggs in hardwood trees so
nation's plant pest safeguarding system. Listed below                                                            emerging larvae can feed on tree tissue. The feed-
are the surveys that the Bureau is conducting as a par-                                                          ing damages and eventually kills the trees. The
ticipant in the national Cooperative Agricultural Pest     Brussel’s Bonsai Nursery in Olive                     beetle is present in New York and Illinois where
Survey (CAPS) Program for detecting exotic plant           Branch, Miss., is a survey site for                   eradication efforts are being implemented.
pests in nurseries. The Bureau also enforces the           CAPS. Photo by Kenneth Calcote.                            Viburnum leaf beetle (Pyrrhalta viburni)
Mississippi Noxious Weed Law, which prohibits the                                                                     This insect can defoliate and eventually kill
selling of any plant listed as a noxious weed.                The Bureau protects homeowners from                Viburnum plants. Viburnum leaf beetle has been
    DETECTED PLANT PEST ACTIONS                           unknowingly infesting landscapes by removing           discovered in New York, New Hampshire,
     Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrical)                    cogongrass from trade when found. Nurseries in         Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts and
      This highly invasive weed is included on            areas where cogongrass has established are follow-     Ohio.
Mississippi's Noxious Weed List. Cogongrass cur-          ing a management/inspection program to ensure               Chrysanthemum white rust (Puccinia horiana)
rently infests many of the counties in Mississippi        plants are free of this noxious weed to prevent its         This disease, which has the potential to kill
and is too widespread to effectively eradicate.           movement into non-infested areas.                      100 percent of chrysanthemums in greenhouses,
However, efforts to prevent its future spread are             Giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta)                  has been found in Washington, Oregon,
continuing.                                                   This highly invasive, aquatic weed is also on                 New plant pest threats continued on back page

JUNE 2006                                                       PLANT INDUSTRY NEWS                                                                          PAGE 6
Role of pesticide handler defined by job tasks
                   By Steve Moore                         ment, to adjust/remove coverings or to adjust air                  Making sure that each pesticide is applied
                        ----------                        concentration levels.                                     so that it does not contact, either directly or
     The Worker Protection Standard (WPS)                          Enters a treated area outdoors after an appli-   through drift, anyone except other appropriately
requires employers to provide workers and han-            cation of any soil fumigant to adjust or remove soil      trained and equipped handlers.
dlers performing tasks in agricultural establish-         coverings.                                                          Checking (by sight or voice) every two
ments with information and equipment necessary                     Disposes of pesticides and/or pesticide con-     hours on any person handling a pesticide with a
to protect themselves from exposure to pesticides.        tainers.                                                  skull-and-crossbones symbol on the label.
     Employers alone cannot do this job. Agricultural                       WHO IS NOT A                                     Maintaining constant visual or voice con-
workers and pesticide handlers have an obligation to                  PESTICIDE HANDLER                             tact with any handler who is applying or otherwise
learn about pesticides and health risks associated with        WPS regulations state that a person who per-         handling a fumigant in a greenhouse.
exposure.                                                 forms any of the following tasks is not considered             Handlers who are currently certified as appli-
     The responsibilities of pesticide handlers con-      to be a pesticide handler:                                cators of restricted-use pesticides (RUPs) are not
cerning WPS compliance are different from those                    Only handles emptied, properly cleaned pes-      required to have WPS training because certifica-
that apply to agricultural workers. Pesticide handlers    ticide containers.                                        tion addresses the same procedures as the train-
inherently have a greater responsibility because their             Only handles unopened pesticide contain-         ing. Certified applicators must be given the same
job duties require direct contact with pesticides.        ers and is not handling them to mix or load.              WPS-handler protections that pesticide handlers
                      WHO IS A                                             TRAINING FOR                             receive.
            PESTICIDE HANDLER                                         PESTICIDE HANDLERS                                 The Bureau of Plant Industry has a WPS sec-
     WPS defines a pesticide handler as a person               WPS requires that pesticide handlers receive         tion on its Web site with information that can be
who is employed by an agricultural or commercial          training in the safe use of pesticides that instructs     either downloaded or printed.
pesticide-handling establishment that uses pesti-         them how to:                                                   Visit http://www.mswps.org to obtain this infor-
cides in the production of plants on a farm, for-                  Deal with health hazards associated with         mation, or contact Steve Moore, WPS coordina-
est, nursery or greenhouse operation. A person            pesticide exposure.                                       tor, at (662) 325-3390.
who performs any of the following tasks is con-                    Recognize signs and symptoms of pesti-                                  ----------
sidered to be a pesticide handler, according to           cide exposure and heat-related illnesses.                           Steve Moore is Branch Director,
WPS:                                                               Respond to emergencies involving pesti-                            Pesticide Division.
         Mixes, loads, transfers opened pesticide con-    cides such as first aid and spill cleanup.                           E-mail: SteveM@mdac.state.ms.us
tainers or applies/assists in the application of pesti-            Wear, use and maintain personal protective            (Editor's Note: This article is the first in a
cides.                                                    equipment such as gloves, goggles and respirators.        two-part series on Worker Protection Standard
          Acts as a flagger (person on the ground                  Understand information on pesticide labels.      compliance and discusses the responsibilities of
directing pesticide applications from aircraft).                   Safely transport, mix, load, store, apply and    pesticide handlers. Part two of the series appear-
          Cleans, handles, adjusts or repairs mixing,     dispose of pesticides.                                    ing in the September issue of Plant Industry News
loading and application equipment that contain pes-                Safely operate equipment used to mix, load,      will discuss agricultural workers.)
ticide or pesticide residues.                             apply and transfer pesticides.
          Enters a greenhouse area after an applica-           Pesticide handlers must have this training to
tion has been made to operate ventilation equip-          ensure that safety of others is carried out such as:


Applicator certifications, license renewals, ag events announced
 COMMERCIAL APPLICATOR RENEWALS                                AGRICULTURAL CONSULTANT                              July 15: Boll Weevil Eradication Annual Meeting
               ALL CATEGORIES                                        LICENSE RENEWALS                               at Holmes Community College in Grenada, Miss.,
July 6: Central Mississippi Research and Extension        July 26: Mississippi Agricultural Industry Council        (662) 325-2993.
Center in Raymond, Miss., (601) 857-2284.                 Annual Meeting at the Perdido Beach Resort in             July 20: Crop Field Day at the Delta Research and
July 13: Panola County Extension Office in Batesville,    Orange Beach, Ala., Categories: Entomology, Plant         Extension Center in Stoneville, Miss., (662) 686-
Miss., (662) 563-6260.                                    Pathology, Weed Control, (662) 325-3992.                  9311.
July 20: Forrest County Extension Office in               October 25: Mississippi Entomological Association         July 25: Gardening Programs at the Magnolia
Hattiesburg, Miss., (601) 545-6083.                       Annual Meeting in the Bost Center at Mississippi          Botanical Gardens in Verona, Miss., (662) 566-
                                                          State University, Category: Entomology, (662) 325-        2201.
August 8: Northeast Mississippi Research and              2085.
Extension Center in Verona, Miss., (662) 566-                                                                       July 26: Mississippi Agricultural Industry Council
                                                              AGRICULTURAL MEETINGS AND                             and Mississippi Seedsmen's Association joint
2201.
                                                                             FIELD DAYS                             meeting at the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange
August 10: Delta Research and Extension Center            June 22: Mississippi Agricultural Economics
in Stoneville, Miss., (662) 686-3205.                                                                               Beach, Ala., (662) 325-3992.
                                                          Association meeting in the Franklin Center at
       COMMERCIAL LICENSE AND                             Starkville, Miss., (662) 325-7989.                        August 4: Row Crop and Hay Day at the Brown
     PERMIT EXAMINATION DATES                                                                                       Loam Experiment Station in Raymond, Miss.,
                                                          June 27: Gardening Programs at the Magnolia               (601) 857-2284.
                        July 11
                                                          Botanical Gardens in Verona, Miss., (662) 566-
                     October 10                                                                                     August 10: Row Crops Field Day at the Northeast
                                                          2201.
Examinations will be given in the auditorium at the                                                                 Mississippi Research and Extension Center in
Mississippi State University College of Veterinary        July 6: Mississippi Farm Bureau Summer                    Verona, Miss., (662) 566-2201.
Medicine. Testing begins at 9 a.m. and concludes at       Commodity Conference at the Hilton Hotel in
4 p.m., (662) 325-3390.                                   Jackson, Miss., (601) 957-2800.


JUNE 2006                                                        PLANT INDUSTRY NEWS                                                                         PAGE 7
Spell’s leadership, continued from front page                                                                   Fuel prices, continued from front page
     In the early 1960s, the Council of State                 The Compact is not intended to supersede               The United States Department of Agriculture
Governments developed the concept of the                 plant pest control programs established by the fed-    (USDA) estimates this year that Mississippi farm-
Compact as a cooperative approach for addressing         eral government and maintained with cooperation        ers will plant:
sudden infestations of exotic plant pests not covered    from the states. The federal government has                    330,000 acres of corn, a 50,000-acre decrease
by other programs.                                       responsibility for administration of the nation's      from the 380,000 acres planted in 2005.
     An insurance fund was established by the            overall plant pest safeguarding program. Many areas             210,000 acres of rice, a 55,000-acre decrease
Compact to pool resources for problems                   within this program are dependent upon states to       from the 265,000 acres planted last year.
requiring immediate action. The fund, which              supply additional funding and support personnel.                1.7 million acres of soybeans, a 100,000-acre
maintains $1 million in escrow, provides finan-               "There are situations in which federal dollars    increase from the 1.6 million planted last year.
cial assistance to states with new outbreaks that        are restricted to funding of established programs           Despite economic hardships caused by high-
are:                                                     and aren't available to manage problems in a small     er fuel and fertilizer prices, farmers are hoping to
    1.   Economically significant.                       area," said Mike Tagert, director of the Bureau of     make 2006 a successful production year.
    2.   Outside the control of a single jurisdiction.   Plant Industry. "Membership in the Compact is the                              ----------
    3.   Threatening to other states.                    best insurance Mississippi can have in quick sup-         Harry C. Ballard is Branch Director of Feed,
    4.   Of a size that can be controlled.               pression of sudden exotic outbreaks."                       Fertilizer, Lime, Plant Amendments and
                                                                                 ----------                                 Soil Amendments Programs.
     Under the Compact's provisions, a state                   Patti Drapala is Public Relations Director.                 E-mail: HarryB@mdac.state.ms.us
attains membership by enacting legislation and                        E-mail: Patti@mdac.state.ms.us
making a one-time payment to the insurance
fund. Membership allows regulatory officials of
a state to request financial support of specified        New plant pest threats, continued from page 6
control activities in another state or in several        California and Hawaii. Eradication efforts are in          Nursery operators and consumers can also contact
states.                                                  place in those states.                                 Kenneth Calcote at (662) 323-3390 for information on
     A funding request can vary, depending on                 For pictures and information on these and other   federal and state plant pest survey programs.
the extent of damage and potential economic              exotic pests, visit the National Agricultural Pest                             ----------
loss caused by a pest. A review committee eval-          Information System (NAPIS) Web site at:                   Kenneth Calcote is Branch Director, USDA
uates an application for assistance.                     http://ceris.purdue.edu/napis.                             Programs. E-mail: Kenneth@mdac.state.ms.us


JUNE 2006                                                       PLANT INDUSTRY NEWS                                                                       PAGE 8




          P.O. Box 5207
   Mississippi State, MS 39762

				
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