New User Prize Draw winner, Tim from Landmark NSW

Congratulations to Tim Sweeny of Landmark, Temora NSW on winning the Crop Care branded 55L Waeco Ice Box. Tim was one of 132 new users who joined Infopest during May / June. Landmark has many subscribers on Infopest and we are glad to have another from their rank join us. Thanks, once again, to Crop Care for supplying the esky as the prize for the draw.

New Sponsor – Nufarm

Infopest would like to welcome to the family our newest sponsor, Nufarm, a major manufacturer of crop protection products in Australia.

Nufarm is headquartered in Laverton, Victoria and is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. The company has major operations in Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Europe, North America and South America, employing more than 3300 people world-wide.

Within Australia, Nufarm is a leading provider and manufacturer of crop protection products, employing a large local team and operating an extensive network of Regional Service Centres. Nufarm has been based in Australia for more than 60 years and has worked alongside Australians to provide a wide range of top quality crop protection products. Nufarm has three major manufacturing facilities in Australia that produce herbicide, insecticide, fungicide and seed treatment products for both domestic and export markets. Nufarm’s Laverton location boasts a major formulation development laboratory – one of the company’s formulation centres of excellence.

The company’s Regional Service Centres are based in key Australian agricultural areas to enable the company to store products closer to customers, allowing them to be on farm in the shortest possible time.

Nufarm joins our other valued sponsors, WFI, AgSafe and Crop Care Australasia.

APVMA considers new active constituent, bicyclopyrone

Bicyclopyrone is a Group 27 Herbicide. It acts in susceptible plants by inhibiting the biosynthesis of carotenoids and leading to the destruction of chlorophyll. The mode of action of bicyclopyrone is shared with several other commercial herbicide active ingredients, specifically, mesotrione, isoxaflutole, topramezone, tembotrione and pyrasulfatole. Bicyclopyrone is efficacious against select broadleaf weeds as well as proso millet (a difficult to control grassy weed).

The active has been developed by Syngenta and originally brought to market internationally as the product name, Acuron. The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has evaluated the chemistry aspects of bicyclopyrone active constituent, which includes manufacturing processes, quality control procedures, batch analysis results and analytical methods, and found them to be acceptable.

APVMA has also considered the toxicological aspects of the active and concluded that there are no toxicological concerns preventing the approval of this active. The agency is satisfied that the proposed importation and use of bicyclopyrone would not be an undue toxicological hazard to the safety of people exposed to it during its handling and use. This means that unless someone finds a suitably valid reason to object, the active could be imported into Australia for potential product development.

So we are one step closer to seeing a new herbicide product for use in Australia. This doesn’t mean that it is approved for registration. There are still many more assessments for the APVMA to make on bycyclopyrone before registration can take place.

There has been some controversy regarding the US Environmental Protection Authority (US EPA) approving the use of Syngenta’s new maize herbicide containing bicyclopyrone. Conservationists and food safety advocates accused the agency of failing to consider the chemical’s effect on bees and other pollinators properly. The issue is that bicyclopyrone is a systemic herbicide and residues may be transported to pollen and/or nectar which would expose bees to the herbicide through both contact and ingestion.

The APVMA has yet to assess these features of the active and will do so as part of the registration process. The agency has called for written submissions as to whether the application for approval of bicyclopyrone should be granted. The deadline is 30 September.
For further information regarding making a submission, click here (Page 27).

APVMA considers new chemical product, Kusabi 300 SC Fungicide containing Pyriofenone for cucurbits & grapes

Pyriofenone is an aryl phenyl ketone fungicide with a proposed use to control powdery mildew in cucurbits and grapes. The APVMA has evaluated whether the chemical meets safety criteria, efficacy and trade criteria. As a result the APVMA proposes to determine that pyriofenone:

  • Would not be an undue hazard to the safety of people exposed to it during its handling and use; or to the safety of people using anything containing its residues; that is not likely to be harmful to human beings if used according to the product label directions; and that it is not likely to have an unintended effect that is harmful to animals, plants or the environment if used according to the product label directions.
  • If used according to the product label directions, the product is effective for its proposed use for the control of powdery mildew on cucurbits or grapes.
  • Would not adversely affect trade between Australia and places outside Australia as the product is not for use in animals producing any major Australian export commodities.

The product will proceed to full registration unless the industry is able to prove otherwise.

Comment is sought from the relevant industry groups on the perceived level of risk and whether any industry-initiated strategies are required to manage that risk. For further information click here (page 28).

From Sponsor, Crop Care: Imidacloprid in waterways a concern

Water-monitoring over several seasons by university and government agencies has shown increasing levels of imidacloprid in rivers and streams in central and northern Queensland. No detailed studies have been undertaken to examine or confirm the sources of stream contamination. However, with widespread use of the insecticide imidacloprid for cane grub control, sugarcane fields are potentially a major contributor.

This is of concern to the sugarcane industry, which promotes retention of applied crop treatments within the farm boundary by minimising off-farm loss in runoff water – for both economic and environmental reasons. The two main formulations of imidacloprid registered for use for cane grub control are liquid suspensions and controlled-release granules (such as suSCon® maxi Intel®). The liquids are applied annually for controlling canegrubs, while the controlled-release granules protect the crop for three to four years from one application to the plant crop. suSCon maxi Intel is the latest controlled-release granular imidacloprid to be developed from a long term research and development partnership between Crop Care Australasia and the sugar industry.

A 2-year study from 2013 to 2015 in the Burdekin and Herbert regions was conducted by Crop Care to determine the propensity for imidacloprid to be lost in runoff water from canefields; to see if this differed between furrow irrigated and rain grown cane; and to determine if there was a difference between liquid imidacloprid treatment vs controlled-release granules at recommended rates and application methods. The imidacloprid formulation had a major influence on concentration in runoff water. Imidacloprid losses from rows treated once in the plant crop with controlled-release suSCon maxi Intel granules were substantially (5.8 times) less than losses from rows treated with liquid imidacloprid in both plant and first-ratoon crops.

The farming system and crop-cycle stage had very little influence on results. Crop Care Marketing Manager Chris Ramsey said the study provided vital information to the sugarcane industry for continuing development of its environmental credentials and best-practice, efficient cane-growing.

“The controlled release matrix of suSCon maxi Intel was superior in retaining imidacloprid in the placement zone and preventing large imidacloprid doses being available in the soil for runoff loss, compared with liquid imidacloprid.” Mr Ramsey also highlighted that correct application of liquid imidacloprid products did not prevent significant runoff loss, as initially had been believed to be the case. Run-off losses still occurred when placement was deep in the furrow.

Mr Ramsey said recent years had seen the sugar industry’s widespread adoption of best management practices (BMP) and environmental initiatives.

“The findings of this study will help canegrowers to further fine-tune their farming efficiency and environmental credentials,” He said.

He said growers could continue to both protect their crops from canegrub damage and minimise imidacloprid in runoff water by:
• Monitoring cane fields for risk of canegrub infection prior to planting and after harvesting. Risk will depend on history of infestation; proximity to fields with damaging canegrub levels; and (in some species) the presence of grubs in the row after harvest.
• Using suSCon maxi Intel to treat the plant crop in at-risk fields. The crop will then be protected against canegrub damage for 3-4 years.
• Applying liquid imidacloprid products to ratoon cane only as required, and strictly according to label directions for canegrub control.
For further information click here

Take care by choosing only Agsafe Accredited chemical suppliers

Agricultural and veterinary chemicals are among the most heavily regulated products in Australia.

Each component of their life-cycle is subject to multiple legislative and regulatory requirements right from the point of manufacture or import through storage, transport, use and ultimate disposal.

Across the country there are literally hundreds of different pieces of legislation and regulation that have an impact on how chemicals must be managed to minimise risks to workers, users and consumers as well as to the environment.

Premises that sell agricultural and veterinary products must comply with specific regulatory requirements including:

  • Workplace Health and Safety legislation, including duty of care
  • transport of dangerous goods
  • poisons scheduling requirements
  • major hazard facilities, and
  • environmental protection.

These regimes specify detailed obligations about how products must be stored, handled, labelled and transported. The requirements are complex and can change depending on the jurisdiction.

Agsafe accreditation is one way that stores can independently demonstrate and verify their compliance with all these rules as well as relevant Australian Standards. Accredited stores have been independently assessed by accreditation facilitators against an industry Code of Practice for the Safe Transport, Handling and Storage of Packaged Agvet Chemicals.

Farm produce quality assurance schemes (such as Freshcare and Graincare) and Best Management Practice schemes are increasingly seeking to specify that agvet chemical products are labelled, stored and transported properly, even before they arrive on farm. Purchasing from Agsafe accredited stores is one way of achieving this.

Purchasing from an Agsafe accredited store means that customers, local communities and the local environment are best protected from potential risks associated with agvet products. Accredited premises can be identified by an Agsafe accredited window sticker or by contacting Agsafe to find a store near you.

For more information about the program, visit the Agsafe website.

Pest Spot – Russian wheat aphid

Russian wheat aphid (Diuraphis noxia) (RWA) is found in all major cereal production regions around the world. However, the pest had not been found in Australia until recently. It was detected in South Australia in May this year. Primary industries & Regions South Australia (PIRSA) is now conducting surveillance and assisting affected growers with immediate control in an effort to contain infestations locally while the extent of distribution is being assessed.Click here for a map of the affected area.

RWA is a major pest of cereal crops that injects toxins into the plant during feeding which retards growth and, with heavy infestations, kills the plant. The aphid is spread easily by the wind and on live plant material. Affected plants will show whitish, yellow and red leaf markings and rolling leaves.
Russian wheat aphid is approximately 2 mm long, pale yellowish green with a fine waxy coating. The body is elongated compared with other cereal aphid species.
Infopest shows two permits issued to Plant Health Australia for the control of RWA:
PER82792 pirimicarb & chlorpyrifos / winter cereals / Russian Wheat Aphid; and
PER82304 imidacloprid / winter cereals / Russian Wheat Aphid

Grain growers, consultants and agronomists are being urged to conduct (RWA) surveillance and report the presence or absence of aphids or suspect crop symptoms. Growers and consultants can report the absence or presence of aphids or damage symptoms using the following tools and online services:

  • Pest and Disease Information Service on 1800 084 881
  • PestFax Reporter app
  • MyPestGuide Reporter app.

There had been no sightings of the aphids elsewhere in Australia as at the end of July.

Useful pest activity info ap.

The WA PestFax, PestFacts South Australia and PestFacts south-eastern (Victoria and NSW) services provide grain growers and advisors with the latest information on invertebrate pest activity and management during the winter growing season.
To provide these services, the managers of these sites rely on readers’ input and observations for the PestFax and PestFacts newsletters and maps each week to keep farmers better informed about what is happening in their area.
Growers and consultants can now use the recently released PestFax and PestFacts Reporter apps to quickly and easily report observations of pests and diseases in their paddocks to the newsletter editors.
These apps are free and can be downloaded for both android and Apple devices. To avoid confusion please ensure you download the app that matches your local service.
To download the WA PestFax Reporter app visit the Google Play store for android or iTunes store for Apple devices.
Similarly, to download the PestFacts Reporter app to make reports for South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales go to the Google Play and iTunes stores.
For more details about these apps refer to;

  • The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia’s PestFax Reporter app web page
  • Cesar Australia’s 2016 PestFacts Issue 5 article Reporting just got easier; new PestFacts Reporter app.