Last Infopest News for 2018
Welcome to our final Infopest newsletter for 2018. It’s only November, but Christmas is just around the corner, which means season’s greetings and warm wishes are due to all our subscribers. We hope the Christmas break is festive yet restful and the New Year is kind to us all.
2018 saw us complete our first year as a paid subscription service with great success. We’ve followed closely the international decisions on the use of glyphosate, kept abreast of the APVMA’s relocation and seen the introduction of some new chemical actives and much more. Thank you for your support throughout the year and we look forward to being in touch with you all again in 2019.
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority have recently issued new instructions on the use of Herbicide 2, 4-D products to reduce spray drift this summer.
Herbicide 2, 4-D products have a broad range of uses in agriculture including some horticultural crops such as bananas, citrus, potatoes and sweet corn.
The new instructions which were issued on 3 October 2018 have taken immediate effect.
That means if you have a 2, 4-D product in your possession without the new label instructions, you are required to go to your supplier or visit the APVMA’s website and get a new label leaflet.
The old product can still be used as long as the new instructions are properly labelled and followed.
Growers can see the full list of more than 220 products which are affected by searching 2,4-D on the Infopest online.
The new instructions include:
- a requirement not to spray in inverse conditions and additional information or recognising inversion conditions
- a requirement to use nozzles producing droplets no smaller than the Very Coarse spray quality category
- downwind mandatory no spray zones for both aquatic and terrestrial off-target vegetation (including sensitive crops, gardens, landscaping vegetation, protected native vegetation or protected animal habitat)
- mandatory record keeping requirements
- advisory statements about spray application over summer.
So if you plan to use herbicide 2, 4-D of any brand, please check the label and use the new instructions before you apply any spray.
For more information and to see a list of herbicide 2, 4-D products, visit https://apvma.gov.au/sites/default/files/specialgazette_04102018.pdf
Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has also recorded a handy spray drift webinar which features a panel of technical representatives talking about spray drift and answering questions about the APVMA’s new instructions for 2,4-D chemical use. To view the webinar, visit https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/resources/spray-drift
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (The ACCC) recently issued a draft determination on AgStewardship’s application to continue operations of its drumMUSTER and ChemClear programs.
The notice provides information on the current levy and future proposed levy increase. The levy is charged on products for crop production and on-farm animal health chemicals which are sold in non-returnable metal and plastic containers between one litre/kilogram and 205 litres/kilograms.
Participants remit the proceeds of the levy to AgStewardship which are used to fund collection and recycling programs. Since it was first authorised in 1998, the levy has been charged at a rate of four cents per litre/kilogram. AgStewardship is currently seeking to increase the levy to six cents per litre/kilogram.
After a period of consultation, the final determination on the matter is expected to be released before 21 February 2019.
Infopest has long supported the drumMUSTER and ChemClear projects and we believe the levy increase is appropriate.
To read more about the ACCC’s decision to support the proposal, visit: https://www.accc.gov.au/public-registers/authorisations-and-notifications-registers/authorisations-register/agstewardship-australia-limited
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources have advised of the outcomes of the 14th meetings of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) and the Chemical Review Committee (CRC) which were held in September 2018 in Rome.
The POPRC and CRC are subsidiary technical bodies of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and Rotterdam Conventions on the Prior Informed Consent Procedures for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, respectively. Australia is a party to both conventions.
The Stockholm Convention requires its parties to take measures to reduce or eliminate the release of persistent organic pollutants into the environment, by restricting or prohibiting the production, use, import and export of certain chemicals.
Unlike the Stockholm Convention, the Rotterdam Convention does not restrict or ban chemicals, but provides for the exchange of information between countries about hazardous chemicals prior to their import and export.
The POPRC and CRC were established to review proposals for listing new chemicals under the conventions and recommended to the decision making body, the Conference of the Parties (COP), whether the new chemicals should be listed. The next COP meetings (COP 9) will be held on 29 April – 10 May 2019 in Geneva.
There are six pesticide related outcomes of the 14th meeting of the POPRC and CRC that are expected to be considered by the next COP. These are summarised below.
Rotterdam Convention – 14th CRC outcomes
The 14th meeting of the CRC agreed to recommend the pesticides acetochlor and phorate should be listed in Annex III of the convention.
The next COP will consider the above chemicals and the unresolved chemical listings from the 2017 meeting which included carbosulfan, paraquat and fenthion. These chemicals were previously recommended for listing under the convention, however, because of a lack of consensus on their listing, the COP decided to defer further consideration until its 9th meeting.
What happens if these chemicals are listed under the Rotterdam Convention?
If these chemicals are listed under the convention, companies who export them as pesticides will be required to seek a permit from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Stockholm Convention – 14th POPRC outcomes
The 14th meeting of the POPRC agreed to recommend the miticide dicofol be considered for global elimination by the next COP, through listing under Annex A to the convention.
What happens if dicofol is listed under the Stockholm Convention?
If dicofol is listed under the convention, the production and use of this chemical will be prohibited. Its import and export will be allowed only with written permission by the Department and only for the purposes allowed by the convention.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will be making a submission to voice Australia’s position on these proposed changes.
Sero-X is a new peptide-based pollinator and predator-safe bio-insecticide used for the control or suppression of green mirids, silver leaf white fly, heliothis and various other insect pests susceptible to Clitoria Ternatea Extract. Sero-X contains a brand-new class of chemical compound that harnesses the plants power to protect themselves.
Innovate Ag have registered approval for the active constituent in Sero-X for use on cotton crops (APVMA Approval No:81070/102266) and are working to develop the registration package for all horticulture crops. They are hoping to have the data ready by the end of summer 2018-2019.
Meanwhile, a unique research and supply permit has been granted by APVMA, allowing Sero-X trials to be undertaken across a broad spectrum of crops such as brassicas, leafy and bulb vegetables, cucurbits, tomatoes, citrus fruits, berries and tree crops. The goal is to develop a better understanding of the product’s efficacy in large scale trials.
Innovate Ag is seeking expressions of interest from growers who are willing to participate in the upcoming research trials. For more information please contact (02) 6795 3787 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Australia is on watch for the possible invasion of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. It is feared this seafaring pest may enter Australia as a cargo pest. It is on our most unwanted list of invaders.
BMSB could severely impact our agricultural industries with both juvenile and adult pests damaging and feeding on a wide range of fruit and vegetable crops.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is on high alert until April because these months coincide with autumn and winter in the Northern Hemisphere when the bug is most likely to seek shelter on cargo shipped south.
The Department has created a guide to identifying BMSB with descriptions and photos of its various life stages. For more information, visit: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/pests-diseases-weeds/plant/brown-marmorated-stink-bug#how-to-identify-brown-marmorated-stink-bug-halyomorpha-halys