Commissioner of Agriculture Susan Combs said the Texas Department of Agriculture has been granted approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue a Section 18 emergency specific exemption to use spinosad (Tracer Insecticide) on peanuts to control lepidopteran larvae.

Tracer Insecticide, manufactured by Dow Agriosciences, may be applied following all directions, restrictions and precautions on the EPA registered product label, as well as restrictions within the exemption notice. Use is authorized to begin June 15, 2001, and expires Oct. 30, 2001.

A maximum of 200,000 acres may be treated in the following counties: Andrews, Bailey, Briscoe, Castro, Childress, Cochran, Collingsworth, Crosby, Dawson, Donley, Floyd, Gaines, Garza, Hale, Hall, Hockley, Kent, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Martin, Mitchell, Motley, Parmer, Stonewall, Terry, Wheeler and Yoakum.

Other restrictions include:

--Applications should be made only by certified applicators, licensed applicators or persons under the direct supervision of licensed applicators. All applicators must have a copy of the EPA approval notice in their possession prior to any applications.

--Tracer Insecticide may be applied by ground or aerial equipment, at the rate of one and one-half to three fluid ounces of product per acre. Total rate of Tracer Insecticide must not exceed nine fluid ounces of product per acre per crop season.

--This product is highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment on blooming crops or weeds.

This product should not be applied or allowed to drift to blooming crops or weeds while bees are actively visiting the treatment area.

For more information, contact the county Extension agent or TDA, at (512) 463-7407.

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