Winning the Battle of Time
Delegate® WG insecticide receives label change in Michigan

Monday, June, 26, 2017 9:00 AM EST

INDIANAPOLIS  — Delegate® WG insecticide has received a Section 24(c) Special Local Need Label allowing Michigan blueberry producers to better control spotted wing drosophila (SWD) during the crucial harvest season.

The special local need registration allows farmers to apply Delegate at a one-day pre-harvest interval (PHI), improving pest control and fruit quality for Michigan’s 22,000 acres of high bush blueberries. A three-day PHI restriction remains under the Federal Section 3 label.

“We know that Delegate insecticide is an effective tool for the control of SWD, a key blueberry pest. Having a three-day PHI somewhat limited the utility of Delegate,” says Dave Trinka, vice president of agri-research and horticulture services for Michigan-based MBG Marketing. “This label change will greatly enhance growers’ flexibility in managing SWD.”

“In Michigan, we grow many different varieties of blueberries, which are harvested between the end of June through October,” he says “Each variety has a three-week harvest period, and each blueberry plant of each variety is harvested multiple times during that three-week window.”

Further complicating insect control during harvest season are frequent summer rainfall events. “Each time it rains, our protection against SWD washes off. That means we have to be ready at a moment’s notice to reapply an insecticide, and then begin that PHI count before returning to harvest,” he says. “The difference between a three-day PHI and a one-day PHI can be critical when it comes to SWD control.”

“The other thing we are all about is resistance management,” he says. “Our growers get it. They understand the need to rotate chemistries, and we are always looking for useful tools that add a different class of insecticide to the mix. This regulatory action accomplishes that, and we are looking at Delegate as a resistance management tool.”

Label restrictions for a one day PHI use pattern include: do not exceed the application rate of 17.9 ounces of Delegate® insecticide per acre per year when applying the product within one day of harvest; do not exceed more than three applications per calendar year; and do not use application intervals less than labeled. Applications may not be made less than six days apart between the first and second applications or less than 12 days apart between the second and third applications. The third application is applied at one day PHI.

Trinka credits the label change to Dow AgroSciences and the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) IR-4 Project. “The idea of getting a PHI reduction would not have been possible without the cooperation of the IR-4 Project,” he says “The program funded the residue research trials, and then provided the necessary data to Dow AgroSciences and the EPA. Without them, we wouldn’t have this special label.”

In February, Trinka submitted a letter of support for the label change, on behalf of MBG Marketing, a grower-owned cooperative representing blueberry producers in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, New Jersey, Indiana, Oregon and Washington. “We have blueberry growers in eight states, and I need this to happen in all eight of these states,” he says.

“Our company is making a big push to enter the export markets and one of our target markets both for frozen and fresh blueberries is the European Union (EU),” he says. “The EU has very few allowable pesticide tolerances. So we are really limited in available SWD control options, especially during harvest time. There are only a couple of insecticides with an allowed residue tolerance in the EU, and both of those products have a three-day PHI. This will give our producers a one-day PHI insecticide that’s effective on SWD.”

“With the new Delegate label, we can control SWD and still meet our export MRLs,” he adds. 

For more information about Delegate, contact your sales representative, field scientist, retailer, Extension specialist or

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Doreen Muzzi
Bader Rutter

Kevin Sheaffer
Dow AgroSciences LLC

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