Specialty crop and minor-use pesticide prioritization at the 2013 IR-4 Food Use Workshop

Participants identified the most important research projects for the 2014 IR-4 food-use research program during the 2013 IR-4 Food Use Workshop in Albuquerque, N.M.

The IR-4 Project (Interregional Research Project No.4), or the specialty crops program, established by State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors and USDA Cooperative State Research Service in 1963, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013. The IR-4 website describes that it has been facilitating registration of sustainable pest management technology for specialty crops and minor uses. IR-4 has been developing registration data to support new EPA tolerances and amending labels for new product uses. However, due to high cost to agrochemical industry under the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) of 2003 that requires pesticide industry to pay specific service fees to EPA for product registration, specialty crops often have few labeled pest management products. To alleviate this problem, IR-4, which is funded primarily 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.

Research priority A’s for the 2014 field residue program for fruits, vegetables, nuts, field and oil crops, herbs and other miscellaneous crops in the United States and Canada were selected at the Food Use Workshop held Sept. 17-18, 2013, in Albuquerque, N.M. More than 150 people attended the two-day meeting, including specialty crop researchers, extension specialists, representatives of commodity and industry groups across the country, and personnel from EPA, USDA, IR-4, the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) whom conducts Canadian counterpart of minor use program, and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), i.e., Canadian counterpart of U.S. EPA. For Michigan’s fruit interest, the workshop was attended by Michigan State University’s Bernard Zandstra, Satoru Miyazaki and John Wise. Representing the Michigan growers’ group was Dave Trinka (blueberry).

The prioritization process focused on the most critical pest management needs from all disciplines for each commodity. Participants were provided with a list of pesticides “nominated” with desired priority of A or B prior to the food-use workshop. This “nomination” process, introduced in 2006, streamlined project selections and allowed the participants to spend more time reviewing only the most important projects. As a group they ranked products based on availability and efficacy of alternative pest management tools including ongoing projects for the same need, damage potential of target pests, performance and crop safety of the chemical 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 Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs).

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

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

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

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

Thirteen 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 tables below). Any “B” priority projects must be upgraded to “A” priority either by a 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 Nov. 6 -7, 2013. A complete listing can be found on the IR-4 website.

Priority A Projects for Michigan Fruits

Commodity

Group

Chemical

Reasons for need

Apple

11-10

Dinotefuran

Brown marmorated stink bug

Pear

11-10

Dinotefuran

Brown marmorated stink bug

Cherry

12-12

Dinotefuran

Brown marmorated stink bug

Cherry

12-12

Oxytetracycline

Pseudomonas syringae pv. Syringae (causes bacterial canker and bacterial blossom blast)

Peach

12-12

Dinotefuran

Brown marmorated stink bug

Caneberry

13-07a

Saflufenacil

Horseweed, broadleaf weeds

Caneberry

13-07a

Tolfenpyrad

Thrips, broad mite, drosophila suzukii

Blueberry

13-07b

Isoxaben

Broadleaf weeds

Blueberry

13-07b

Spinetoram

Spotted wing drosophila

Blueberry

13-07b

Sulfoxaflor

Control of aphids, leafhoppers, plant bugs, mealybugs, suppression of thrips and sclaes

Grape

13-07f

Clethodim

Emerged grasses

Strawberry (annual)

13-07g

Clopyralid

Weeds

Cranberry

13-07h

Bifenthrin

Sparganothis fruitworm, cranberry fruitworm, flea beetle, fireworm, tipworm, spanworms, white grup adults

 Priority H Candidate Efficacy/Crop Safety Projects for Michigan Fruits

Commodity

Group

Chemical

Reasons for need

Blueberry

13-07b

Fenamidone

Alternaria fruit rot

Blueberry

13-07b

Organic acid

Mummy berry, phomopsis, fruit rot, post-harvest dip

Blueberry

13-07b

Pseudomonas fluorescens

Mummy berry

Strawberry

13-07g

Bacillus pumilis

Botrytis

Strawberry

13-07g

Fluazinam

Alternaria, botrytis, colletotrichum, phytophthora, rhizoctonia

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

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