Specialty crop and minor-use pesticide research priorities set by IR-4

At a recent workshop, participants identified the most important research projects for the 2013 IR-4 food-use research program.

The IR-4 Project (Interregional Research Project No.4) established by Congress in 1963 has been the major resource for providing pest management tools for growers of specialty crops and, often, minor uses on major crops. IR-4 develops registration data to support new EPA tolerances hereby amending labels for new product uses. Due to the current crop protection tools under the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act and the high cost to industry of product registration, specialty crops are at risk of having few available pest management products or being lost for pest management. To alleviate this problem, IR-4 – primarily funded by USDA-NIFA – facilitates pesticide registration for specialty crops by conducting field residue trials and, often, efficacy and crop safety trials. Specialty crop research needs are prioritized each year during a national workshop since resources are limited. The primary objective of this workshop was to have the participants identify the most important research projects for the 2013 IR-4 food-use research program.

Research priority A’s for the year 2013 field residue program for fruits, vegetables, field and oil crops, herbs and other miscellaneous crops in the United States and Canada were selected at the Food Use Workshop held September 11-12 in St. Louis, Mo. More than 140 people attended the two-day meeting including specialty crop/use researchers, extension specialists, representatives of commodity and industry groups across the country, and personnel from EPA, USDA, IR-4 plus the AAFC (Canadian counterpart of minor use program) and PMRA (Canadian counterpart of U.S. EPA) personnel. For Michigan’s fruit interest, the workshop was attended by Bernard Zandstra, Mary Hausbeck, Satoru Miyazaki and John Wise of Michigan State University. Representing the Michigan growers’ groups was Dave Trinka (blueberry).

Like last year, the session was conducted by a commodity-driven project prioritization process, focusing on the most critical pest management needs for each commodity, not by the discipline-driven process. Participants were provided with a complete list of all pesticides “nominated” with desired priority of A or B rating, by regions for consideration prior to the food-use workshop. This “nomination” process, introduced in 2006, greatly streamlined project selections and allowed the participants to spend more time reviewing only the worthy projects. As a group they ranked products based on availability and efficacy of alternative pest management tools (including ongoing projects for the same need), pest damage potential of target pests, performance and crop safety of the chemical tool in managing the target pests, compatibility of the proposed chemical candidate with integrated pest management, uses currently covered by Section 18 emergency exemptions and harmonization implications due to lack of international MRLs.

Based on projected budget appropriations for IR-4, only 46 projects throughout the disciplines were assigned “A” priorities:

  • Entomology = 21
  • Weed science = 14
  • Plant pathology = 11

An “A” priority guarantees IR-4 will begin the field residue program immediately the following season and complete in 30 months, with expectations that a complete data package be submitted to the EPA in 16 to 24 months when IR-4 joins the company’s petition submission schedule.

In addition to the above projects that require pesticide residue analysis under GLP, 31 “H” (high priority) efficacy/crop safety candidate projects were selected because several potential registrants want to see these data first before IR-4 conducts full residue studies or IR-4 needs to screen pest control products for new pests, the PPWS (pest problems without solution) projects.

Eight fruit projects (Crop Groups 11, 12, 13) important for Michigan were assigned A priorities. In addition, five candidate H projects for Michigan fruits were identified (see the tables below). Any “B” priority projects must be upgraded to A priority either by an Priority Upgrade Proposal (PUP) or by regional upgrade if applicable. The following new candidate priority “A” projects listed are preliminary until affirmed at the IR-4 national planning meeting on October 23 -24, 2012.

Priority A’s for Michigan fruits

Commodity

Group

Chemical

Reasons for need

Apple

11-10

Bifenthrin

Brown marmorated stink bug

Apple

11-10

Isosaben

Weeds

Cherry

12

Lampbda-cyhalothrin

Spotted wing drosophila

Peach

12

Bifenthrin

Brown marmorated stink bug

Caneberry

13-07a

Cyantraniliprole

Adult root weevils (otiorynchus & schiopithes)

Blueberry (high bush)

13-07b

Indaziflam

Annual & perennial weeds

Strawberry

13-07g

Cyantraniliprole

Thrips

Cranberry

13-07h

Difenoconazole

+ azoxystrobin

Coleophoma. Physalospora & Colletotrichum fruit   rot

 

Priority H’s for Michigan fruits

Commodity

Group

Chemical

Reasons for need

Peach

12

Flonicamid

Plant /stink bugs, thrips

Caneberry

13-07a

Saflufenacil

Horse weed, broadleaf weeds

Blueberry

13-07b

Pseudomonas

Fluorescens

Mummy berry

Grape

13-07f

Organic acid

Downy mildew, black rot, powdery mildew, phomopsis

Strawberry

13-07g

Fluazinam

Alternaria, botrytis, Colletotrichum, Phytopthora, Rhizoctonia

Drs. Zandstra and Wise’s work is funded in part by MSU’s AgBioResearch.

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