Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Test A New Generation Of Pesticides

Date:
August 19, 2005
Source:
Oregon State University
Summary:
Next year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will end a 10-year examination of pesticides used in the United States, and many highly toxic, broad-spectrum chemicals will be phased out. Bob McReynolds, Oregon State University Extension agent for vegetable production, is part of that process. McReynold's goal is nothing less than to replace a generation of powerful chemical agents related to World War II nerve gas with less environmentally harsh pesticides.

AURORA - Next year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will end a 10-year examination of pesticides used in the United States, and many highly toxic, broad-spectrum chemicals will be phased out.

Related Articles


Bob McReynolds, Oregon State University Extension agent for vegetable production, is part of that process. McReynold's goal is nothing less than to replace a generation of powerful chemical agents related to World War II nerve gas with less environmentally harsh pesticides.

Terminating the use of potent, broad-spectrum pesticides is safer for people and other non-target organisms, but it can be tough for business. The potential sale of a pesticide to protect, for example, turnips from turnip aphids may not cover the costs of testing for safety and environmental effects required by U.S. law.

So when turnip growers need a safe and effective product to control aphids, they turn to McReynolds at OSU's North Willamette Research and Extension Center for help.

McReynolds runs the Minor Use Program at the center, administering carefully controlled field tests of pesticide residue on Willamette Valley crops from blueberries to hops. These so-called minor crops are major contributors to Oregon's economy. They represent most of the crops grown in the valley, with a net value of $1.4 billion, 68 percent of Oregon's total crop value.

McReynolds' work is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Interregional Project No. 4 (IR-4), a program to help producers find safe and effective pest management tools for minor crops.

"We provide the research required by the Environmental Protection Agency to label pesticides for crops that are generally too limited in scale to be profitable for pesticide manufacturers to research," McReynolds said.

A generation ago, pesticides were developed to target a wide range of pests. Not anymore. Today's pesticides are very specific to a particular pest on a particular crop at a particular time.

The goal of the IR-4 program is to replace compounds of chlorinated hydrocarbons and organophosphates with safe and effective chemicals that are less toxic to off-target organisms. Much of IR-4 research focuses on reduced-risk chemicals and biological controls. IR-4 supported the registration in the 1970s for many of the natural pesticides used today by organic growers.

"Compared to old pesticide products that were applied in pounds per acre, new products are applied in ounces per acre," McReynolds said.

To meet EPA standards for pesticides used in or on foods and animal feed, each active ingredient must be tested for human safety and environmental effects as well as its effectiveness on crops. The value of major crops such as corn and soybeans can offset the cost of research necessary to determine the safest, most effective pesticides. Growers of minor crops can rarely afford such studies on their own.

McReynolds' process begins with a problem. Say, a weed is smothering a crop of asparagus or a disease is shriveling carrots. There are lots of possible solutions, a whole toolbox of integrated pest management methods that must be tested to see if they are both safe and effective.

"Once the manufacturer confirms that the pesticide is safe for humans and the environment, we perform a battery of tests to determine if it is effective against a particular plant pest or disease," McReynolds explained. "If the pesticide is found to be both safe and effective, then our final tests measure the level of pesticide residue that remains on the crop after harvest."

In the past couple of years alone, nearly 25 new pesticide registrations have been granted for use on particular minor crops grown in the Willamette Valley. "Pest management is not done on a whim," McReynolds said. "It's done to provide quality products to consumers."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon State University. "Scientists Test A New Generation Of Pesticides." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050819123453.htm>.
Oregon State University. (2005, August 19). Scientists Test A New Generation Of Pesticides. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050819123453.htm
Oregon State University. "Scientists Test A New Generation Of Pesticides." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050819123453.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Dog flu is spreading in several Midwestern states. Dog daycare centers and veterinary offices are taking precautions. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers from the E/V Nautilus had quite a surprise Tuesday, when a curious sperm whale swam around their remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameras captured the encounter. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins