WAPATO, Wash -- Ric Valicoff, and his brother Rob, have been farming apples for almost 30 years. For most of that time, they have used the pesticide AZM (azinphos-methyl) to protect their apples from codling moths and worms.
By 2012 they will no longer be able to use AZM. The Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to phase the pesticide out by 2012 because of fears of danger to farm workers and water quality.
For Ric Valicoff, its not a problem. They have been weaning themselves off AZM in anticipation of the EPA ruling for several years. They now rely more on moth disruption pheromones than AZM..
Moth disruption pheromones attract male moths, and trick them into thinking female moths are present. The male moths become confused, disorientated and died -- ultimately, leaving the apples alone.