Pesticides permitted to combat stink bugs in Va.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia farmers have received federal approval to use a pesticide to combat stink bugs that are damaging fruit crops.

State Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore announced Wednesday that an emergency exemption granted by the Environmental Protection Agency will remain in effect until Oct. 15. It allows the use of the pesticide Dinotefuran to control the brown marmorated stink bug on certain fruits, including peaches, nectarines, apples and pears.

State agriculture officials say stink bugs caused about $37 million in damage to Virginia's apple crop in 2010, and some experts worry that the pest could spread to cotton, soybeans and corn. The EPA exemption allows treatment of up to 29,000 acres.