Arkansas rice farmers watching fall armyworms obliterate their fields can now fight back, with the federal Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday granting a crisis exemption enabling growers to use a needed insecticide.
Last Friday, entomologists submitted documentation to obtain a Section 18 exemption to use Intrepid on rice. The crisis exemption allows use of Intrepid beginning July 28. Intrepid is labeled for use on other crops, but not rice.
“The specific exemption is still under review at EPA, but application can be made under the crisis exemption,” said Gus Lorenz, extension entomologist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
Lorenz has called this year’s armyworm situation the worst he’s seen in his career. In the days since the exemption process began, Lorenz said “it has probably cost growers several millions of dollars.”
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Arkansas is the nation’s leading rice producer.
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