Kansas Dept. of Agriculture obtains approval from EPA for Special Local Need registrations of insecticide products Cobalt, Stallion to help deal with alfalfa weevil infestations; registrations allow for fall applications of insecticides starting Nov. 1

TOPEKA, Kansas , November 3, 2011 (press release) – The Kansas Department of Agriculture has obtained approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Special Local Need (SLN) registrations of the insecticide products Cobalt and Stallion to help deal with alfalfa weevil infestations. These SLN registrations allow for fall applications of Cobalt or Stallion across the state starting November 1.

The alfalfa weevil is one of the primary insect pests of alfalfa. In addition to reducing forage quality, insect pests of alfalfa are estimated to reduce yields by 10-15 percent annually. According to a Kansas Farm Bureau economic analysis, absent the application of insecticides in the fall, heavily infested alfalfa fields may result in an expected $37,565,822 less in returns for Kansas farmers.

The life cycle of the alfalfa weevil begins in late fall when the adults enter the alfalfa fields to feed and deposit eggs in the stems of alfalfa plants. The goal of these SLN registrations is to interrupt the life cycle with a fall pesticide application after the last cutting which should have little to no impact on bees or other pollinators.

A fall application is not contrary to the specific use restrictions for either insecticide product. These SLN registrations do not change the number of applications or the amount applied per crop growing season. The timing of the application has been amended to better reflect the life cycle of the alfalfa weevil. This change may result in better control of the pest, improved crop yields and less pesticide use in the spring when bees and other pollinators are foraging.

Any applicator using a pesticide under an SLN registration must have the SLN registered label with them while applying the pesticide.

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