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Commercial Horticulture > Comm Hort Blog > Posts > Neem insecticide recall: What to do in this situation?

Pesticide spray1.JPGRecently, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) tested and found pesticide contamination in several popular neem-based products. Below are direct links to the recalls on ODA website. As a result of this, a stop-sale has been issued for those neem products. As a researcher working on these products for many years, my goal is to provide you an alert regarding the complex situation and provide some recommendations for commercial organic crop producers in Alabama. Ultimately, producers should decide the best course of action according to their priority and resource availability.

ODA Pesticide advisories:

The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension has also developed a factsheet summarizing the misbranded/adulterated neem products that may be of help.

Recommendations for organic crop producers in Alabama:

  • URGENT: Check with your organic certifier and talk to your inspector regarding the past and future use of neem products. Neem-based insecticides are available by themselves or as premix. Make sure to keep records of all insecticide usage and check back on the status of recall on above websites.
  • Alabama IPM recommendations regarding neem have been directed for small caterpillar and sucking insect control in the early season. Neem-based products have struggled in the hot/humid weather and high pest pressure conditions generally seen in Alabama. Producers should understand that there are several other organic-approved products available for small caterpillar control, namely, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt, Xentari or DiPel), natural pyrethrum (PyGanic), and spinosad (Entrust, Monterey Garden Insect Spray). Never depend exclusively on one organic product – always rotate different insecticides and modes of action.
  • For aphid and whitefly control, the best products in IPM test plots include paraffinic oils (Suffoil-X, JMS Stylet Oil), microbial-based insecticide (Grandevo), insecticidal soap (M-Pede), and a fungal bioinsecticide (Mycotrol-O). These products only work when used at low populations immediately after detection. Complete coverage and repeated applications may be necessary for adequate pest management. Adult insects are typically more difficult to control than nymphs that hide under the leaves.  
  • As a reminder, organic producers and gardeners should utilize other alternative pest management systems such as trap crops, sanitation, and pest exclusion to prevent pest establishment. For more information, see Alabama Vegetable IPM videos and publications.

This article will not be able to provide all answers to your pest management questions, so please do not hesitate to contact a commercial horticulture regional extension agent in your county or call 251-331-8416 for discussing options with this author.

Ayanava Majumdar

Extension Entomologist


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