The New Era of Pesticides in Canada: Cancellations, Re-evaluations, and New Products

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Changes will soon be coming to some of the chemical products you rely on most.

It seems  there is never a dull moment in the greenhouse ornamental industry these days.  From transitions to new crops,  new export requirements, to novel pest problems, the industry has seen a lot of change….and it’s not over yet. 

The industry is also going to be facing changes regarding some commonly used chemical products. Here is the latest on potential  revisions to the list of chemical tools we have access to in Canadian floriculture.

This is guest post was written by Cary Gates, Pest Management Director at Flowers Canada Growers.

Continue reading “The New Era of Pesticides in Canada: Cancellations, Re-evaluations, and New Products”

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Accessing Info on GH Floriculture Pesticides Quickly and Easily

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An snapshot of Health Canada’s new Pesticide Labels App for Droid or Apple phones.

Ever needed just to quickly look up a rate for a particular pesticide, or see if it’s compatible with your bio program, only to get lost on Google or get frustrated by the numerous tables in Pub 370?  Well, me too.

Read on for resources to make accessing pesticide information quicker and easier for Ontario’s floriculture sector.

These include a new mobile app for ALL registered pesticides, as well as a downloadable spreadsheet you can tailor to your needs.

Continue reading “Accessing Info on GH Floriculture Pesticides Quickly and Easily”

Two new fungicide registrations!

That’s right!  As of today, flower growers have 2 new weapons against fungal diseases at their disposal. Heritage MAXX (azoxystrobin) and Medallion (fludioxonil) are now registered for use in outdoor and greenhouse ornamentals.

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Impatiens showing signs of nutritional deficiency due to Pythium root rot infection.  Heritage MAXX is now available for Pythium control in greenhouse ornamentals.

Heritage (a Group 11 fungicide) is a systemic fungicide, and is appropriate for control of Pythium, Grey mould (aka Botrytis blight) and Rhizoctonia.  It can also be used for foliar diseases such as Powdery Mildew, Downy mildew, Rust, Anthracnose and Alternaria  Leaf Spots.  You can find the new label here: HeritageLABEL2016.

Medallion (a Group 12 fungicide) is a contact fungicide, and is appropriate for control of root rots such as Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, and Black Root Rot (Thielaviopsis) when applied as a drench.  It can be applied foliarly for Grey Mould, Anthracnose Leaf Spot and Rhizoctonia Stem Rot.  MedallionLABEL2016.

Alternaria on impatiens

Medallion fungicide is now available to Canadian ornamental growers to help control diseases like Alternaria leaf spot (shown here on impatiens).

Both are broad-spectrum fungicides that can be used curatively or prophylactically.

As with any chemical control product, make sure to read and follow the label carefully prior to use.

(Also, 1000 points each to the team that helped push these label expansions forward:Cary Gates, Flowers Canada; Jim Chaput, OMAFRA; Jennifer Llewellyn, OMAFRA and Graeme Murphy, formerly of OMAFRA).

Guide to Weed Control in Ontario

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Publication 75 covers herbicides for outdoor ornamentals and non-crop areas outside the greenhouse.

Ontario’s latest Guide to Weed Control is now available as a free PDF from OMAFRA.  Chapter 16 covers weed control in outdoor ornamentals, and includes effectiveness ratings for registered products.  This publication may also be useful for cleaning up weeds outside the greenhouse.

Note that the only herbicides currently registered for use INSIDE the greenhouse are EcoClear and Munger.  Both are acetic acid-based products appropriate for the control of broadleaf and grass weeds.

A hardcopy of the guide (Publication 75) can be ordered from OMAFRA here for a nominal fee.

Update on Met52 Availability – EC but no Granular from Plant Products

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Met52 EC is available from Plant Products.

In anticipation of Monstanto BioAg’s decision regarding re-sourcing Met52, Canadian distributor Plant Products stocked their shelves.

Plant Products currently holds over 1000 units of the popular Met 52 EC (emulsifiable concentrate) product.  This should be enough to bridge any gap in supply from Monstanto. Met 52 EC has a shelf life of up to 1 year if stored properly.

Met 52 EC is registered for use on strawberries, lettuce, cucumber, zucchini and fruiting vegetables (pepper, tomato, eggplant) in  Canadian greenhouses.

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Granular Met52 is not currently available in Canada.

Unfortunately,  floriculture growers are still without a Metarhizium-based  insecticide for now. Plant Products confirms that Met 52 Granular Insecticide – the only formulation registered on ornamentals – will NOT be available in 2016.  We will update you on any potential availability in the future.

Meanwhile, stakeholders are working with the registrant to explore the possibility that Met52 EC could be registered for greenhouse ornamental use via the minor use program. However, as this previous blog post explains, even label expansions for currently registered products take time. However, biopesticides like Met52 are often expedited.

How are pesticides registered in Canada?

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Cary Gates at Canada Blooms 2014. Cary is Pest Management Director for Flowers Canada Growers.

Ever wonder what, exactly, is involved in getting a pesticide registered for use in Canadian greenhouses – and why it seems to take so long?  This guest post by Cary Gates (Director of Pest Management, Flowers Canada) lifts the curtain on the process.

How are Pesticides Typically Registered?

When I speak to growers, one of the things I’m told they need most are new biological and/or conventional pesticide registrations.  But getting a new registration is no simple task. 

Brand new active ingredients take a significant amount of time and financial investment from pesticide manufacturers to bring to market.  And, often the return on this investment is not realized immediately, due to the relatively small market ornamental growers represent. 

To address this, grower associations like Flowers Canada work with registrants to submit a User Requested Minor Use Registration (URMUR) request to the Province. This lowers the cost of registration for pesticide manufacturers.  However, typical registration timelines still remain around 3-4 years

If a product is already registered on a different crop in Canada, we can pursue a label expansion (known as a User Requested Minor Use Label Expansion, or URMULE) .  URMULES typically take 9 months to process.  URMULES can take considerably more time if additional registration data is required (e.g. occupational exposure data). Some label expansions have taken multiple years to process.  

Flowers Canada submits approximately 8- 10 label expansion requests annually, which are often the result of grower requests.  A large percentage of these are approved.

If you would like to know more about the progress of any new registrations, feel free to contact me.

The Role of Canada’s Pest Management Centre (PMC):

Outside of label expansions and registrant submitted registrations, many pesticides are made available to floriculture farmers through Agriculture Canada’s Pest Management Centre.

The PMC is a division of AAFC that works to assist growers’ access new pest management tools (both biological and conventional pesticides). 

Delegates at the 2014 PMC's Priority Setting Meeting. Photo from http://www.agr.gc.ca.

Delegates at the 2014 PMC Priority Setting Meeting. Photo from http://www.agr.gc.ca.

The PMC hosts an annual priority-setting meeting where growers, researchers, industry grower associations and extension staff prioritize pests and diseases alongside researchers, pest management companies and regulators.  Sarah Jandricic and I will be attending this meeting in March. (For more information about the goals and format of the meeting, click here).

Each year, the group isolates only 10 priority insect-pest problems, 10 priority pathology problems and 10 priority weed problems out of all the possible pests affecting all crop groups in Canada. 

If a particular pest or disease is one of the few selected, then the PMC will help fill any data gaps that are preventing a pesticide from being registered to “solve” a priority problem.  They do this by assisting registrants in compiling data, conducting efficacy trials, sponsoring pesticide dissipation research, and coordinating discussions with Health Canada.  Because of the workload involved, this avenue of registration often takes longer than an URMUR or URMULE.

A researcher in a full spray suit applying pesticides to seedlings in the ground.

A pesticide residue trial being conducted by members of the Pest Management Centre (PMC). Photo from http://www.agr.gc.ca.

FCG has been very fortunate in being able to isolate multiple priorities annually – sometimes up to 5-6.  This has benefited growers tremendously, as many pesticides used in greenhouses today were registered with the PMC’s assistance

Quarantine Issues:

Although we have been fortunate enough not to have to deal with many invasive pests, they can occur from time-to-time and threaten the ability of farmers to move and export plants. 

In the past, growers have had to deal with issues like Chrysanthemum White Rust, Sudden Oak Death, Duponchelia and Japanese Beetle. All of these quarantinable pests required expedited pest management solutions. 

Submitting emergency use registrations remains a very high priority, with subsequent full registration requests being prepared thereafter. In fact, we just oversaw a new pesticide registration, Acelepryn (chlorantraniliprole) for those in JB regions who need to treat their crops during flight period.  Typically, an emergency use registration can be processed for grower use in under a month.

Grower Involvement is Key:

One of the activities I enjoy most about working for an industry association is visiting greenhouses and talking to growers directly.  This allows me to hear first-hand about issues affecting the sector.  Grower visits steer my focus on priority pests and diseases and help me find tools to control them.

If you would like to know more about the role that Flowers Canada FCG logoGrowers plays in pesticide registration, please visit our website (www.flowerscanadagrowers.com) or call/email me anytime (519.836.5495 X228, Cary@fco.ca)