Creation of the Texas Plant Protection Association in 1989 coincided with what Jim Bone describes as a “wave of change, giving rise to challenge long-standing practices for insect control.”

Bone, who retired two years ago as Commercial Development Manager, U.S., for DuPont Crop Protection, credits pioneers “like Dr. Charles Lincoln, University of Arkansas; Dr. Dan Clower, Louisiana State University; and Dr. Perry Adkinson, Texas A&M University,” as early catalysts for a different approach to insect pest management. He said these men believed in a better way “but had lacked the tools to fully implement” those changes.

He says the impact of Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s ground-breaking book on pesticide use, “whether fact or fiction had created a new awareness and influenced the creation and growth of regulation (including) EPA. Growers, long schooled in the philosophy of ‘“the only good bug was a dead bug’ had concerns about how an insect not falling immediately from the treated plant was no longer a problem.”

 

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They were beginning to change their thinking.

“In terms of insecticide discovery, 25 years is a relatively short period,” Bone says. He notes that light stable synthetic pyrethroid development began in the mid 1940s with first real success in mid 1970s.

“Dr. Michael Elliott, NRDC, UK, began his search for a replacement for naturally occurring pyrethrum in the mid 1940s as a reaction to concern that supply from Africa would be lost due to war. Once the door opened, renewed industrial interest in insecticide discovery followed, led by FMC, ICI and Shell.  While these three companies no longer have a direct presence in today’s U.S. base, their efforts live on through merger and acquisition.

“While other companies were engaged in discovery, light stable synthetic pyrethroid insecticides proved the profitability of change through a chemical supplier.”