Now that Temik is in reality gone, companies are looking at chemistries that had been discarded, because the cost of developing them was too high and the expectations of profit too low as long as Temik was available.

If the EPA now grants a label for a product that will be essentially the same as Temik, those research and development dollars are likely to go away just as quickly as they materialized.

Likewise cotton and peanut growers in the Southeast have had to find new products and new uses of these products to replace Temik.

In some cases, the loss of Temik has forced growers to be more timely in pesticide applications and to choose more wisely which varieties to plant and where to plant them.        

Despite the need to reduce over-dependence on one product, the vast majority of growers want Temik, or something like it, back. For example, Virginia farmers are already seeing higher levels of tomato spotted wilt virus than has been seen in recent years. The virus is vectored by thrips, which are routinely controlled with the help of Temik.                  

Large increases in cotton acreage in the upper Southeast rapidly depleted existing supplies of Temik, leaving growers with no alternative but to use materials that have proven to be less effective and/or more expensive.

Researchers, some of whom have testified at Congressional hearings in support of Temik are bewildered that the EPA would consider granting a label for a product they have dogged for so many years. 

It would, says one veteran researcher, shoot holes in their creditability with groups that both support and oppose a number of controversial agricultural products.

Despite all the reasons why not, Peuch remains optimistic the EPA will grant his company label clearance to sell aldicarb to U.S. farmers. The name, he says, as of right now is Meymik — a combination of MEY (Maximum Economic Yield) and mik from Temik.

“We hope growers won’t give up on the product due to its absence from the marketplace this year. We can’t say much about formulations, distributions and other information growers would like to have until we get clearance from the EPA. If we do get our label, we will begin an aggressive campaign to let growers know that it is available and how to get it,” Peuch concludes.

rroberson@farmpress.com