Specialty crop and minor-use pesticide prioritization set for 2017 by IR-4

Participants at the 2016 IR-4 Food Use and Biopesticide Workshop identified the most important research projects for the 2017 IR-4 food-use research program.

The IR-4 Project (Interregional Research Project No.4) is charged to ensure that safe and effective pest management solutions are available for growers of specialty crops and for minor uses. Specialty crop research needs are prioritized each year during a national workshop since resources are limited. Research priority A’s for 2017 field 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. 21-23 in Orlando, Florida.

More than 160 people attended the two and half day meeting: specialty crop researchers, extension specialists, representatives of commodity and industry groups across the country, and personnel from EPA, USDA, IR-4 plus the AAFC (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada that conducts Canadian counterpart of minor use program) and PMRA (Pest Management Regulatory Agency, i.e., Canadian counterpart of U.S. EPA). For Michigan’s fruit and vegetable interests, the workshop was attended by Michigan State University’s Bernard ZandstraSatoru MiyazakiJohn WiseMary Hausbeck, Dennis Fulbright, Lynnae Jess and Celeste Wheeler. Representing a 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 174 pesticides “nominated” with desired priority of A, B or C prior to the food-use workshop. 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 in 2017, only 41 “A” priority projects throughout the disciplines were selected. Thus, most of the unselected projects were down-graded to “B” priority or lower. 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, eight “H+” (high priority plus) efficacy/crop safety projects were 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 PPWS (pest problems without solution) projects.

Twenty-six “A” priority projects important for Michigan were selected. In addition, five candidate H+ projects for Michigan growers were identified (see Table 2). Any “B” priority projects must be upgraded to “A” priority either by an Priority Upgrade Proposal (PUP) with good justification or by regional upgrade, i.e., the crops or the pests are limited to a particular region.

The following new candidate priority “A” projects listed are preliminary until affirmed at the IR-4 National Planning Teleconference Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2016. A complete listing can be found on the IR-4 website.

Table 1. Priority “A” projects for Michigan fruits and vegetables

GroupCommodityChemicalReasons for need
01AB Ginseng Isofetamid Cylindrocarpon - rusty root disease
01CD Sweet potato Diquat Palmer amaranth and other broadleaf and grass weeds
16-Apr Crop group 04-16 Uniconazole-P 4 rep crops; growth regulation - without this, some crop plants will bolt under hot greenhouse conditions
04-16A Lettuce (head and leaf) Mandestrobin (s-2200) Sclerotinia minor, sclerotinia sclerotiorum (lettuce drop)
04-16A Spinach Prometryn Reduce the plant back restriction from 12 months to 3-4 months
04-16A Parsley Difenoconazole Septoria leaf spot
04-16B Greens (mustard) Ethaboxam Downy mildew, pythium
16-May Cabbage Ethaboxam Peronospora parasitica/downy mildew and pythium
16-May Cabbage, Chinese (Napa) Prometryn Reduce the plant back restriction from 12 months to 3-4 months
06C Bean (dried shelled) Tribenuron-methyl Narrowleaf hawksbeard, false chamomile, dandelion, prickly lettuce, mustard spp.
06C Pea (dry) Tribenuron-methyl Narrowleaf hawksbeard, false chamomile, dandelion, prickly lettuce, mustard spp.
08-10A Tomato Glufosinate Annual broadleaf weeds and grasses
08-10A Tomato (greenhouse) Spinetoram + Sulfoxaflor Psyllids, lepidopteran larvae, thrips, whiteflies
08-10BC Pepper (bell and non-bell) Glufosinate Annual broadleaf weeds and grasses
08-10BC Pepper (bell and non-bell) (greenhouse) Spinetoram + Sulfoxaflor Pepper weevil, psyllids, thrips, lepidoptera
09A Cantaloupe Glufosinate Annual broadleaf weeds and grasses
09B Cucumber Glufosinate Annual broadleaf weeds and grasses
09B Cucumber (greenhouse) Spinetoram + Sulfoxaflor Psyllids, pepper weevil, thrips, lepidoptera
09B Squash (summer) Glufosinate Annual broadleaf weeds and grasses
13-07A Caneberry Pydiflumetofen (FTH 545) Botrytis gray mold
13-07B Blueberry Buprofezin Scale insects (with increased use of pyrethroids for SWD, secondary pests like scales have increased)
13-07G Strawberry (greenhouse) Cyflumetofen Mites
13-07H Cranberry Flumioxazin Moss (haircap, sphagnum, and other problematic spp. Found in cranberry production beds); pre-emergence control of dodder (cuscuta spp.) and poverty grass.
15-16 Corn (sweet) Flonicamid Corn leaf aphid and bird cherry oat aphid (aphids becoming an issue since pyrethroid use is season-long)
99 Hops Glufosinate Heavy grass and broadleaf weed pressure (and helps eliminate powdery mildew)
99 Mint (future: herbs) Fluopyram Nematodes


Table 2. High priority needs for efficacy/crop safety projects for Michigan fruits and vegetables

GroupCommodityChemicalReasons for need
01AB Horseradish Bicyclopyrone Small-seeded broadleaf weeds, such as glyphosate resistant Palmer amaranth and common waterhemp.
01CD Sweet potato Glufosinate Annual broadleaf weeds
01CD Sweet potato Insecticide Soil insects including wireworms, white grubs and other beetle larvae.
16-May Broccoli Sulfentrazone Hophornbean copperleaf, pigweed
06C Pea (dry) Pyroxasulfone Palmer amaranth and other broadleaf weeds (glyphosate-resistant p. Amaranth is economically damaging, with no other effective herbicide options).

Biopesticides priorities of Michigan interest were also identified. For instance, there are no conventional insecticides to control blueberry stem gall wasps that are spreading. It is considered the PPWS. Some cultivars are highly susceptible, accounting for over 30 percent of Michigan acreage. Growers need a bee-safe approach to protect blueberry shoots from stem gall wasps.

Table 3. Results of the 2016 Biopesticide Workshop (priorities are ranked within a column)

FruitOrganicOtherOrnamental horticultureResidue mitigationVegetable
Stem gall wasp, blueberry Downy mildew, spinach Weeds, all crops Chestnut blight, American chestnut Copper hydroxide/Hop powdery mildew, and hop downy mildew Agrobacterium, greenhouse cucumber
Spotted wing Drosophila, all crops Spotted wing Drosophila, fruit Varroa mite, honey bee Botrytis leaf spot/blight, bulb cut flowers Malathion/Aphid, cherry fruitworm, midge, root weevil, scale, SWD/ blueberry Phorid fly, mushrooms
Black sigatoka, banana Fire blight (Erwinia amylovora), pome fruit Glyphosate-resistant weeds, all crops Botrytis, conifer nursery stock Cyantraniliprole/Aphid, cherry fruitworm, midge, SWD /blueberry Pepper weevil, greenhouse pepper
Whitefly (Q- biotype and others), all crops Weeds, field Thrips (chilli), all crops Weed control in, nursery seed and transplant beds Southern blight, tomato and pepper
Aflatoxin on nuts, dried fruit crops, figs, corn Black rot, Brassicas Post-harvest, export crops Bagrada bug, Brassica

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

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