In 1997, California and Arizona growers of leafy and Brassica vegetables (like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and greens) were facing an uphill battle on two fronts, threatening their livelihoods and the nation’s supply of vital veggies. In the desert production areas of these states, where 95% of United States winter vegetables are grown, over-dependence on methomyl had resulted in widespread beet armyworm resistance. At the same time, diamondback moths had developed resistance to every insecticide class in leafy and Brassica vegetables in coastal California, where 95% of U.S. summer leafy/cole vegetables are grown.
Vegetable production in both states was at a tipping point. Growers requested and were granted Section 18 Emergency Exemptions in Arizona and California to use Success® Naturalyte®, which contains Qalcova™ active (spinosad). These exemptions from the Environmental Protection Agency allowed for use of this then-unregistered product and helped avert an impending catastrophe for farmers. Looking back, many growers believe the vegetable production systems in both states turned a critical corner with those registrations. Since then, use of Qalcova and Jemvelva™ active (spinetoram) has dominated U.S. vegetable markets, with farmers noting that these products offer the performance attributes of synthetics with the ecological attributes of biologicals.