Specialty crop and minor-use pesticide prioritization set for 2015 by IR-4

Participants at the 2014 IR-4 Food Use and Biopesticide Workshop identified the most important research projects for the 2015 IR-4 food-use research program.

The IR-4 Project (Interregional Research Project No.4), or the specialty crops program, was established by State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors and USDA Cooperative State Research Service in 1963. The IR-4 website describes that since 1963, the IR-4 Project has been the major resource for supplying pest management tools for specialty crop growers by developing research data to support new EPA tolerances and labeled product uses. The IR-4 Project is funded primarily by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), facilitates pesticide registration for specialty crops by conducting field residue trials under Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), 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 2015 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 and Biopesticide Workshop held Sept. 9-10 in Atlanta, Georgia. More than 120 people attended the two-day meeting. Participants included specialty crop researchers, extension specialists, representatives of commodity and industry groups across the country, and personnel from EPA, USDA, IR-4, plus Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) that conducts Canadian counterpart of minor use program, and 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, John Wise and Annemiek Schilder. Representing the Michigan grower’s 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, B or C, 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 and resistance management, 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 MRLs (Maximum Residue Limits).

Based on projected budget appropriations for IR-4 again this year, only 43 projects throughout the disciplines were assigned “A” priorities:

  • Entomology = 12
  • Weed science = 18
  • Plant pathology = 13

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 16-24 months.

In addition to the above projects that require pesticide residue analysis under GLP, 17 “H” (high priority) efficacy/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.

Eight fruit projects (Crop Groups 11, 12, 13) important for Michigan were assigned “A” priorities. In addition, three 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 Oct. 28 -29, 2014. 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

Quizalofop

Grasses, Johnsongrass

Pear

11-10

Quizalofop

Grasses, Johnsongrass

Cherry

12-12a

Quizalofop

Grasses, Johnsongrass

Peach

12-12b

Kasugamycin

Bacterial spot

Peach

12-12b

Quizalofop

Grasses, Johnsongrass

Caneberry (raspberry)

13-07a

Clopyralid

Broadleaf weeds, Canada thistle

Blueberry

13-07b

Fenpyroximate

Two-spotted spider mites, blueberry bud mites, whiteflies

Grape

13-07f

Spinetoram

Spotted wing Drosophila

High priority needs for candidate efficacy/crop safety projects for Michigan fruits

Commodity

Group

Chemical

Reasons for need

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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