“Though I understand what has happened, it’s a very difficult situation for our growers, who are now scrambling and pressed to find alternatives (to Temik) as we quickly approach planting time and decisions,” he said.

Nematodes, which are tiny worms that feed on and clog plant roots, cost Georgia farmers $100 million annually in damage and control measures, Kemerait said. Planting for cotton, peanuts and soybeans will begin in a month.

Farmers knew they’d have to switch from using Temik, Kemerait said. And they, the agriculture industry and land-grant institutions like UGA were working to find economical alternatives.

“We certainly would have liked to have the time we thought we would,” Kemerait said. “My fear is many growers will make decisions out of desperation instead of careful research-based studies.”

There are alternative treatments that can be applied directly to seeds prior to planting. But the availability of such treatments in time for planting is not certain. A fumigant called Telone II can be effective, too, but it is already in short supply, he said.

Kemerait is telling farmers to target what Temik they have on nematode control, especially if they can find an alternative means to fight insects like thrips, which feed on plants.

“But it is unfortunate to lose a product like Temik. It is a unique, broad-spectrum product with a high level of nematode control and longer window of protection for thrips control.”