Health Canada determined that the continued registration of imidacloprid, clothianidin, or thiamethoxam products are acceptable; however, certain uses have been cancelled to address possible risks to pollinators. Many of these cancelled uses affect Canadian fruit and vegetable growers.
Bees and other pollinators are vital to the production of Canadian fruits and vegetables, and growers are intimately aware of the need to protect their pollinators and their mutually beneficial relationship. As such, growers do not make decisions that would hurt their pollinators. As an organization, the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) will work with its members to support farmers during this transitional phase resulting from these long-awaited final decisions.
The PMRA did a thorough science-based risk assessment and accounted for real exposure risks such as plant pollinator attractiveness. For these reasons, most uses on non-attractive crops such as root and tuber vegetables (including potatoes), brassica leafy vegetables, leafy vegetables, and (indoor) greenhouse vegetables remain unchanged. All seed treatments were also approved for continued use.
Many uses of imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, and clothianidin were modified or cancelled so as to reduce risk to pollinators during bloom, due to the systemic nature of the chemistries. As such, many horticulturally significant uses have been cancelled or restricted, including:
· Cancellation of most foliar applications before bloom
· Cancellation of foliar applications to pome and stone fruit, strawberries, and some tree nuts
· Cancellation of soil applications on berries, fruiting vegetables, legume vegetables, and cucurbits
· Modified application timings for potatoes, berries, tree nuts, fruiting vegetables, cucurbits, and legume vegetables.
The PMRA included a chart of pollinator mitigation which is a valuable quick-reference guide for growers to see what changes will occur and how it will affect their crops.
Cancellations and label modifications will come into effect over the next two years. However, the PMRA acknowledges the lack of alternatives for certain pests, such as brown marmorated stink bug, European chafer, cucumber beetle, leafhoppers (on berries), and berry weevils (black vine weevil, cranberry weevil, strawberry root weevil). Use of neonicotinoids to address these serious pest issues is being granted an additional year to the cancellation deadline in order to find workable alternatives.
While these final decisions have a significant impact on many horticultural uses of the neonicotinoid insecticides, there are two more rounds of final decisions coming up in 2019/2020 – the general re-evaluation of imidacloprid, and the aquatic invertebrate special reviews of clothianidin and thiamethoxam. All of these reviews and decisions are being made independently of each other. The CHC will continue to monitor the progress of the PMRA re-evaluations and decisions.
In the meantime, the Canadian Horticultural Council urges the government to commit additional resources to PMRA for pesticide regulation, a recommendation that the government’s own Pest Management Advisory Council has made repeatedly in recent years. Additionally, PMRA requires more data to understand actual use patterns of crop protection tools, based on Canadian crops, climate, and labels, something the CHC strongly recommends to ensure the federal government works across government departments to collect and share pesticide use data.
With adequate resources, PMRA can deliver the credible and effective regulatory regime needed to maintain a strong agricultural sector, prevent unacceptable risks to human health and the environment, and maintain public confidence.
The proposed final re-evaluation decision for mancozeb, which suggests cancelling all uses of mancozeb except on tobacco due to unacceptable risks to human health and the environment, was published on Oct. 5, 2018, with a three-month consultation period. The Canadian Horticultural Council and the Canadian Potato Council were granted an additional 60-day period after the consultation deadline to gather more information on how growers use mancozeb for horticultural crops, including potatoes.
The council released a survey that Canadian growers could complete online or by hard copy to gather more information during this period. The purpose of the survey is to gather grower provided data that is “highly representative of how mancozeb is used in potato production overall across Canada and within each province.”
“Specifically, mancozeb use rates, number of applications, the use of aerial application under irrigated and non-irrigated potato production and the effectiveness of chemical and non-chemical alternative controls will be determined,” explained David Jones, manager of potato industry coordination with the Canadian Potato Council.
As of Jan. 25, 2019 , only 16 of 135 total survey responses were from Manitoba. During Manitoba Potato Production Days in Brandon, producers, especially from the province and Alberta, were encouraged to participate in the survey to include how they use mancozeb so the PMRA could make a nuanced decision.
In the Prairie provinces, producers often use aerial applications for fungicides because of the nature of the landscape and the lower population compared to Eastern Canada. “But Manitoba has higher humidity, somewhat similar to some of the eastern provinces, so we’ve got a situation where we have a lot of fungicide applications due to our climate, but we also do those by air because of our topography,” said Darin Gibson, president and research agronomist at Gaia Consulting and presenter at Manitoba Potato Production Days.
The grower survey sought to include the variety of ways producers use the fungicide so that PMRA’s decision would be reflective of the fungicide’s use in Canada. “[Aerial applications] will be considered differently and I’m not sure how that affects the final outcome, but it’s important that PMRA has the best information possible about how these products are used across the country, otherwise they make assumptions about the worst case scenario,” Gibson said.
“[The survey’s] highly representative data will provide quantitative information that PMRA can use to verify or correct assumptions that they have previously used in their assessment of risk associated with mancozeb use in potatoes,” Jones added. “The desired outcome is that the collected data will contribute to revised risk assessments that are favourable to the continued use of mancozeb in potatoes.”
The proposed re-evaluation decision removed the original exception that allowed for foliar application of mancozeb on potatoes and will have a great impact on potato growers.
Currently, mancozeb is one of the most economical broad-spectrum fungicides for early and late blight. Not only is the price point attractive, but because it is a multi-site fungicide, there is a low risk of diseases developing resistance to mancozeb.
“One of the problems is when you lose some of these products to regulatory issues, you end up depending on some of these single-site fungicides, which have a much higher risk of resistance,” Gibson said.
Currently, multi-site fungicides, like mancozeb, chlorothalonil, or metiram, are the base for any potato fungicide program because there’s little risk of diseases developing resistance to these fungicides. Gibson explained that if mancozeb is removed from the growers’ toolbox, growers would have to switch to single-site products, such as either an early blight product or a late blight product. The cost of production will increase because growers will have to tank mix two products; each of those products being more expensive than mancozeb.
Mancozeb is not banned in the European Union or in the United States, having undergone its own re-evaluations in those countries in 2018 and 2005 respectively. Gibson said he’s cautiously optimistic. “It's going to end up in somewhat of a compromise where it'll be maybe three to five applications, hopefully more, but I'm optimistic that it's not going to end up at zero.”
The mancozeb use survey is available until Feb. 8, with anything submitted on Feb. 8 being accepted.
Since the low Prairie producers response numbers reported at the end of January, Jones said growers organizations in Manitoba and Alberta (KPPA, Peak, PGA) have made good effort to remind growers directly about the importance of participating in the Council’s survey. “The response from growers in Alberta and Manitoba has been excellent, representing about a third of the total responses received to date. The response rate is similar to the percentage of planted acres in those two provinces as a percentage of the total Canadian acres planted. This would indicate that the survey responses are highly indicative of potato production in Alberta and Manitoba,” Jones said.
“It's an important issue for Manitoba growers and it's just one of the important tools that growers have for protecting their potato crop and if they were to lose that one, they'll still be able to grow potatoes, but it's going to be more difficult and more expensive,” Gibson said. “So it's really important that growers get their information to the Hort Council so that can be passed on to PMRA, so they can hopefully keep an important tool for their production.”
The survey is available online, or by hard copy that could be submitted via email or fax. To complete the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/TWW76JJ.
Overall potato production in Canada dropped by 2.6 per cent, according to the latest estimate from the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPG).
As an industry leader providing up-to-date information and research, TCM is looking to gather input from producers across the country in order to develop a more thorough understanding of the state of herbicide resistance in Canada.
TCM's Herbicide Use Survey will offer participants the ability to help tell the story of these important crop protection tools by having farmers like you share how herbicides are being used.
The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete, and will ask details like soil and farm acreage, types of weeds being targeted, as well as management practices. All submissions will remain anonymous.
Those who complete the survey will be entered into a random draw for a $500 visa card! Complete the survey here.
The Herbicide Use Survey ends December 8th. Results will be collected and presented at the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit in Saskatoon, Sask., on February 27 and 28.
The warm conditions has slowed the harvest of some processing fields, to prevent bringing warm tubers into storage. The seasonal accumulated precipitation has been 50-70% of normal in the potato growing areas (Fig1). The soils are generally on the dry side (Fig 2), but irrigated fields have sufficient moisture for a good harvest. READ MORE
Enviroot's goal is to reduce waste by using food remains, especially potato peelings, to make a safe material for use in the home.
The company received a national business prize of $20,000 from Enactus Canada, a student-led entrepreneurial organization, and the McCain Social Enterprise Project Partnership to get the project going this summer.
"We use the potato peels that we get from McCain Foods here in New Brunswick in our particle board as a kind of filler," said Justin Trueman, Enviroot CEO and fourth-year biology student.
The potato peels are plasticized by melting them a little bit, and a bond between the potato peels' particles is created.
This allows them to bind products together without need of formaldehyde, which is the glues of some household furnishings, walls and stairs made from composite wood materials. READ MORE
Researchers are hoping Canadian potato growers will soon be able to use an innovative approach to control wireworms. This method uses just a few grams of insecticide per hectare applied to cereal seeds that are planted along with untreated seed potatoes. It provides very good wireworm control for the whole growing season, with a lower environmental risk than currently available insecticide options.
"We're into our second week of wet weather and really there's nothing being done at the present time," says Rodney Dingwell, chair of the P.E.I. Potato Board. | READ MORE
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2019 Training Session for Potato ScoutsMon Jun 03, 2019 @10:00AM - 03:30PM
Potato Association of America Annual Meeting Sun Jul 28, 2019
Process Expo 2019 Tue Oct 08, 2019
Alberta Potato Conference and TradeshowTue Nov 19, 2019