Carolina Cotton Producers Working without Temik

Last week at the 2012 North Carolina Cotton Field Day, Dr. Steven Koenning, plant pathologist with NC State Extension, specializing in, corn, soybeans, cotton and small grains spoke to producers about working with nematodes without Temik:

“Its probably only 5% of fields where we needed to protect nematodes, that was our mainstay because without Temik we had to rely on fumigants. Of the replacements we have, seed treatments are probably nearly equivalent to Temik but you cant up the rate if you have a more severe problem. Typically we don’t get as much thrips control, nor does it last as long, as Temik so those are the two issues facing us.”

Koenning explains that in addition to seed treatments and fumigants, there are a few nematode resistant cotton varieties:

“We do have replacements in terms of seed treatments and now we have some varieties resistant root knot nematode, but in the southeast part of the state we have other types of nematodes that we don’t have resistance to.”

There is one other product that has the potential to be as effective as Temik, but right now it’s not labeled for cotton according to Koenning:

“There is a tolerance for counter on cotton, which means some land could be treated. But that doesn’t mean that you have it labeled. So I can use it experimentally but there is a possibility that Counter might also be used as a nematode and for its control measure which would be a replacement. But there is some issues to work out.”

Temik wasn’t outlawed by the EPA, Bayer, the latest owner of the technology, opted not to renew the registration. Since the chemical formulation aldicarb is still available for registration and use, Koenning says it’s causing a slowdown in development of alternative products:

“If we knew for sure that it would not be available, then companies might be interested in getting a label for some of these other materials. But they don’t want to compete with Temik.”

And make no mistake, Temik is wicked stuff, which may be the reason the registration wasn’t renewed:

“It is one of the most toxic things out there. There are a lot of places you can’t use it, it has a dangerous potential to get into the water table.”

So, long and short is to use seed treatments when effective, and possibly turn to fumigants when nematode infestation is too great.

Dr. Steve Koenning, NC State Extension Pathologist on Today’s Topic. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.