Researchers lead global greenhouse projects

February 26, 2019
Written by AAFC Pest Management Centre
Growers around the world share many pest management problems. However, for producers of minor crops - crops that are high in value but grown on small acreages such as fruits, seeds, forages, and other specialty crops - access to pest management tools can be limited.

This is largely because many manufacturers of crop protection products (fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides) find that the sales potential is not sufficient to justify investments required to register their products for use in minor crops. Moreover, trade barriers can occur due to different standards set by countries in establishing acceptable maximum residue limits (MRL) - the maximum amount of pesticide residue, expected to remain on food products when a pesticide is used according to label directions, that will not be a concern to human health.

Currently an international collaboration is hoping to harmonize standards for crop protection products – and AAFC is part of the driving force.

The Global Minor Use Workshop first took place in 2015, in the U.S. In 2017, the second workshop was held in Montreal, bringing together specialists from more than 35 countries to exchange information and find ways to collaborate on global priorities. Experts at AAFC's Pest Management Centre (PMC), Dr. Jennifer Allen, David Courcelles and Shirley Archambault, are leading two global projects from these workshops: one to control mites on greenhouse tomatoes and peppers, and the second to control downy mildew on basil.

In terms of Canadian production, greenhouse tomatoes and peppers were valued at $978 million in 2017, some of which were exported to eight countries. The elimination of the European Union tariffs in 2017 have further opened up this export market. While basil is an emerging market for Canadian producers, with most production consumed domestically, PMC's work on global trials will benefit this growing sector through work on both field and greenhouse basil.

Once the research trials and laboratory analyses are completed (i.e., product efficacy, crop tolerance, and pesticide residue) the PMC team will compile the data into an internationally acceptable submission package with the goal of receiving registration of the product for use in countries around the world. Ultimately, the final reports will be submitted to the United Nations Joint Food and Agricultural Organization/World Health Organization Meeting on Pesticide Residues for review to also obtain internationally recognized (CODEX) maximum residue limits.

These efforts will work towards promoting simultaneous global regulatory reviews and will help harmonize trade between nations.

For more information, visit:

Global Minor Use Summit

Pest Management Centre

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