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EPA approves emergency exemption for state's cotton farmers

JACKSON — The Environmental Protection Agency has approved an emergency exemption that will help farmers in the Mississippi Delta control tarnished plant bugs in cotton, according to Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith.

The tarnished plant bug has become one of the most damaging pests of cotton in recent years, responsible for an estimated $81 million in combined input costs and yield losses in the Mississippi Delta in 2011.

The product receiving an emergency exemption under Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) is Transform WG manufactured by Dow AgroSciences. Transform contains the active ingredient sulfoxaflor and can be applied according to label directions, restrictions and precautions in the following counties: Adams, Bolivar, Carroll, Claiborne, Coahoma, Desoto, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jefferson, Leflore, Panola, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tunica, Warren, Washington and Yazoo.

The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce’s Bureau of Plant Industry has authority under Section 18 of FIFRA to obtain an exemption from EPA for a non-labeled use of a pesticide if significant losses of an agricultural commodity are likely and alternative, labeled products are not available or effective.

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