Joseph Rimelspach, The Ohio State University / Dr. Jim Kerns, University of Wisconsin
Hello turfgrass managers. There are many questions being asked about the recent EPA decisions regarding PCNB. There are many concerns and individuals want to start making plans for alternatives at least for this year. The following is an update from Dr. Jim Kerns, turfgrass pathologist at the University of Wisconsin, posted Wednesday, September 8, 2010. If you have additional questions please contact us.
We just recently caught wind of a recent development with PCNB sales for this year. Basically the US EPA had reason to believe that there were impurities in the pesticide that could have toxicological significance. Consequently the US EPA ordered a stop sale, use or removal order effective immediately for all products containing PCNB or derived from Technical Grade PCNB. The company who manufactures Technical Grade PCNB sued the US EPA in order to have the stop sale order temporarily lifted, but was denied on September 3rd.
It is imperative to understand that this is not a permanent halt on PCNB distribution and sales. The company is seeking other alternatives within the legal system and it was emphasized in the aforementioned article that this issue is fluid. However, I do think it is important to think of an alternative to PCNB for this year. This is difficult situation because PCNB is a great snow mold product and it is inexpensive. I do think there are alternatives though. (Not to beat a dead horse, but the best thing to do is to review Wisconsin snow mold trials at the following site (http://tdl.wisc.edu/pdf/Snow%20MoldReports2010_Live/index.html))
One thing to consider is thiophanate methyl. This a.i. is frequently overlooked, but is an excellent snow mold product. Products such as Instrata and Interface have performed exceptionally well in our trials, but some courses may have the budget to apply these to fairways. Mixtures of chlorothalonil, iprodione and propiconzole or chlorothalonil, iprodione and myclobutanil have performed well in our trials. Other a.i.'s that stand out are triticonazole (Trinity, BASF and Triton FLO, Bayer) and metconazole (Tourney Valent BioSciences). Unfortunately I do not know what these products cost, so my suggestion is to sit down with our reports and your local salesperson to figure out what will work for your course and budget.
This is a rather unfortunate development for this year considering the condition of the economy. However, we are here and willing to help develop solutions to this unfortunate situation.