Insect, disease and weed pests are a serious concern for Canadian farmers. Growers need to protect their investments in the field from these problems that can reduce yields and quality, and lower the competitiveness of the sector. At the same time, farmers are looking for safe, effective pest management tools with minimal effects on the environment.
|Geoff Riddle is one of two
principal investigators in the Minor Use Pesticide Program at the
Greenhouse and Processing Crops Research Centre. This is one of nine
trials sites in the program across Canada.
The Minor Use Pesticide Program was launched in June 2002 as a joint initiative between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the federal regulator responsible for pesticide use, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) of Health Canada. Through the program, the federal government facilitates a process for growers to identify and prioritize their top crop/pest problems, and match them with potential solutions.
These issues are then brought to the national priority setting workshop, where more than 200 participants help determine the top pest management priorities for each topic area (weeds, insects, and diseases), one for each of five geographic regions, and one “organic” pest control. Every spring, this workshop brings together representatives from a broad range of stakeholder groups – including provincial minor use coordinators, producers, the pesticide industry, crop specialists, as well as representatives from U.S. minor use researchers (IR-4 program) and provincial and federal governments.
The priorities selected this year will undergo field trials and laboratory analysis by AAFC specialists to obtain the required data for the registration of new minor uses of pesticides. After data is collected, AAFC drafts submissions to PMRA for new registered uses on behalf of growers. The Minor Use Pesticide Program has generated hundreds of new uses of crop protection products that will lead to greater profitability for producers and contribute to environmental sustainability. AAFC’s Minor Use Pesticide Program continues its efforts of improving access to safe and effective pest management tools for growers.
These efforts are assisting the environmental stewardship of Canadian producers, promoting safe food for Canadians and helping Canada’s producers to compete in global markets. Since 2003, AAFC has conducted over 3,000 trials, and made over 135 submissions for new pesticide use submissions on behalf of growers.
- Some 38 new projects were selected at this year’s Priority Setting Workshop in Ottawa. Eight involve greenhouse crops.
- Since the inception of the Minor Use Pesticide Program, over 135 submissions has been made to PMRA, resulting in over 60 registrations and hundreds of new uses being made available for growers.
- Crops with projects chosen this year include greenhouse peppers and tomatoes, onions, strawberries, cherries and also ornamental crops grown by Canadian nurseries. Thistle, prairie carnation, bushberries and basil were some of the more unique specialty crops with new projects.
- This summer, the Pest Management Centre and the U.S. minor use program (IR-4) will collaborate on 25 projects to share the data necessary to register new uses. This productive partnership will lead to the possibility of simultaneous joint registration of the products in 2009.
For more information on activities from AAFC’s Pest Management Centre, or to view the list of this year’s projects, visit the website at www.agr.gc.ca/prrmup .
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