Merry Christmas & happy New Year

Hello Infopest users. Welcome to your final edition of Infopest News for 2016. This publication comes out quarterly, but if you’d like to keep informed of agvet chemical news in between editions, please follow us on Facebook.

Infopest now has a presence on Twitter too!

Throughout 2016 we have been working hard to update our database which now holds 11,159 labels for registered products, 1,145 permits, 7,691 Safety Data Sheets and 1,166 Marketed Product Labels. Our efforts mean that there are over 2.26 million uses which you can search!

There are now 4,389 registered users and we look forward to welcoming many more to the fold.

We’d like to thank you for your continued support of Infopest and look forward to assisting you with your agvet chemical searches in 2017.

APVMA considers new fungicide, Fluopicolide

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has before it an application for the approval of a new active constituent, fluopicolide, for use as a fungicide in agricultural products. Click here: (page 30)

The first rather interesting thing here is that fluopicolide’s mode of action is unknown! It is of the Benzamide pyridine chemical family and is used in agriculture to control a wide range of Oomycete (Phycomycete) diseases including downy mildews (Plasmopara, Pseudoperonospara, Peronospora, Bremia), late blight (Phytophthora), and some Pythium species.

This mode of action differs from other available fungicides used to control oomycetes. Bayer CropScience developed the compound and it was first released as a commercial product in 2006.

The APVMA is satisfied that the proposed importation and use of fluopicolide would not be an undue toxicological hazard to the safety of people exposed to it during its handling and use. The APVMA is inviting submissions as to whether the application for approval of fluopicolide should be granted. For more information click here: (page 30)

At the same time, APVMA has before it an application for registration of a new product containing Fluopicolide and Propamocarb Hydrochloride. The product is Infinito SC Fungicide. The proposed use is for the control of downy mildew in bulb vegetables, cucurbits, lettuce, and poppies and late blight in potatoes.

A Public Release Summary (PRS) of the evaluation of this product is available from the APVMA website’s public consultation page: or by contacting the evaluator.

Vegetable Permits Changing hands

Thursday 3 November marked the completion of Growcom’s project VG12114: Minor Use Permit Management for the Vegetable Industry, after three years and four months. Management of vegetable minor use permits has now passed over to Horticulture Innovation Australia.

Growcom (Infopest’s parent company) has had a long and successful history in the areas of pest management and minor use permits spanning nearly 20 years.

We will continue to act as an advocate on behalf of industry regarding all areas of chemical access. We will continue to hold minor use permits for those commodities who want us to do so and to retain a pest management officer. We will also focus on managing, maintaining and promoting Infopest.

The original funding proposal to Horticulture Australia Ltd (HAL) for the management of Minor Use was written in August 1999. The concept of Minor Use was new at the time and a large number of individuals were submitting permit applications for different crops in a haphazard fashion.
There clearly needed to be a more planned and strategic approach. Growcom was successful in obtaining funding from HAL for the purpose of determining pest management needs for each commodity and work needed to fill the Minor Use gaps, incorporating known Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies.

From mid 2000 a Pest Management Strategies Audit for Queensland’s Fruit & Vegetable Industries was undertaken, with findings published in 2001, and Pest Management Strategy Documents for Queensland’s Fruit and Vegetable Industries were published in 2003.

As the Pest Management officer, Janine Clark worked with a number of other industry bodies at the time to submit a multitude of applications to the National Registration Authority (NRA – now APVMA).

In 2003, Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers became Growcom and our legislative authority to collect levies was rescinded by the Queensland Government. The industry body, AgAware stepped in, undertaking a project with HAL to take on the role of Minor Use Coordinator, such that any permits Growcom wished to submit went through that organisation and on to the APVMA.

Vegetable grower levy money was prioritised and allocated to funding appropriate residue and efficacy trials to support the permits if required.

We worked with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries to vet requests and ensure that applications that were unlikely to be successful were culled.

Between 2005 and 2010 Gary Artlett and Janine Clark managed Growcom’s Pest Management section, implementing Minor Use strategies and updating them for each industry as appropriate. Gary went on to work for Biosecurity Queensland, strengthening Growcom’s relationship with that agency for the benefit of the industry.
Finally, AgAware’s project with HAL ended and HAL took on the coordinator’s role. Growcom held the permits for the vegetable industry under the first Minor Use Permit Management for the Vegetable Industry project, VG10127.

VG12035 followed in August 2012, then finally VG12114 in July 2013 with three six month extensions. In that time, HAL underwent a restructure to emerge as Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation).

Hort Innovation will now act as the permit holder for vegetable permits and these have been turned over to them as the holder. Growcom and Hort Innovation are now working with the APVMA to ensure that the handover process is as streamlined as possible.

Growcom will continue to hold a number of permits, particularly those for the pineapple industry as we are their Peak Industry Body. We will also assist with other permit applications as requested to do so by industry on a fee for service basis.

Glyphosate – guilty until proven innocent?

Popular herbicide, glyphosate has been in the news again over recent months. Speculation over its carcinogenic status has been rife since the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s report. Studies have been called into question and health lobbyists have been up in arms. Glyphosate continues to be scrutinised in the United States.

The US Environmental Protection Agency announced the postponement of their scientific review of the carcinogenicity of glyphosate in October. The delay was caused by the need to get “additional expertise in epidemiology”. Given the importance of epidemiology in the review of glyphosate ‘s carcinogenic potential, the agency believes that additional expertise in epidemiology will benefit the panel and allow for a more robust review of the data.

Product registrant, Monsanto, held to the EPA’s September 2016 released paper stating the evidence strongly supported the conclusion that glyphosate was unlikely to cause cancer in humans “at doses relevant to human health risk assessment.”

Other international regulators have come to similar conclusions – the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) & Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). They are joined by Australia’s own regulator the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) in their assessment conclusions.

However dissenting voices have included, Food Democracy Now!, a grass roots community of Ameriacn farmers dedicated to building a sustainable food system. The group has published a report: Glyphosate: Unsafe on Any Plate, claiming that “independent research shows that probable harm to human health begins at really low levels of exposure – at only 0.1ppb of glyphosate. Many foods were found to have over 1000 times this amount, well above what regulators throughout the world consider “safe”.”

FDA testing has also shown that glyphosate is present in such foods as honey. There is currently no maximum tolerance level in the U.S. for glyphosate residues in honey, but the issue could could be added to the joint EPA/FDA agenda in the near future.

Whilst glyphosate is not thought to be carcinogenic, the fact that the US Government is aware of glyphosate residues in food, but has dragged its feet on testing for so long, frustrates many who are concerned about the pesticide.

Sponsor AgSafe warns against placarding pitfalls

Running a chemical store that is compliant with regulatory requirements is not an easy task, as these are many and complex. However, placarding is one important area that requires close attention as the signs should provide immediate and clear information in the event of a storage fire or other incident.

In locations where placarding is required, such as in many reseller stores, the signs alert emergency services, people at the workplace and the general public as to the location and nature of the chemicals stored. They also provide shorthand information on emergency procedures that could be required in the event of an incident.

Under Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation, placards are needed when the aggregate quantity of any category of hazardous substance in a storage area exceeds the placarding quantities specified in the appropriate regulation. Specific placarding quantities differ from State to State and can be found on Work Health and Safety agency websites or the Safe Work Australia website.

The most common errors in using placards are summarised below:

  • Placarding does not correctly reflect manifest. Placarding is often the first information that emergency services get to tell them about the amount of what classes and quantity of chemical is on site, so it’s really important that it is correct. Risk is increased when the signs outside do not accurately reflect the type or quantity of goods stored.
  • Positioning of Placards. Outer Warning Placards or HAZCHEM signs which comply with the design specified in WHS and Occupational health and Safety (OHS) regulations must be displayed at all entrances to the premises. Remember to always place signs on a permanent fence or structure wherever possible. Placards placed on a gate which is in an open position during the day time may not be easily visible. More specific placarding must be displayed on storage areas where the relevant classes of products are kept and must be clearly visible from normal approaches. For outdoor storage areas, placarding must be clearly displayed adjacent to products or, if dealing with tanks, adjacent to or on the tank itself.
  • Failure to remove placarding. Agsafe facilitators frequently find that signs have not been removed when quantities of dangerous goods onsite reduces. Emergency services will act according to the placards displayed so it’s imperative that signs be taken down if a quantity or type of chemical is no longer stored.
  • Faded placards. Remember that placards provide a signal for emergency services, so they must be legible from a distance. Faded placards that cannot be easily read should be replaced.

Vernon Keighley, Agsafe facilitator in NSW and Victoria, says that particular care should be given when storing Class 4.3 products which are hazardous when exposed to water – including water used in firefighting.

“It is extremely important to signal to the emergency services in the event of an incident, particularly a fire, that these products are on site. Fire fighters will know immediately on seeing this placard that they should not use water in the relevant storage areas, unless advised otherwise.”

It’s important to remember that whether placarding is required or not that other general requirements such as segregation, spillage control and security are still necessary. The Agsafe Code of Practice provides resellers with all the information they need to know about placarding.

From Sponsor, Nufarm: Thinking of spraying? Nufarm’s SprayWise Decisions are the go!

Keeping an eye on the weather is always important if you’re planning to spray. The SprayWise Decisions program from Nufarm allows you to review weather conditions for the last 14 days or predict forthcoming weather up to 14 days in advance. It has the unique ability to generate property specific meteograms for the nearest 1 sq km grid cell anywhere in Australia.

Using SprayWise Decisions, you can locate your property using GPS co-ordinates, physical address search or find your property using Google Maps satellite imagery.

Data is updated every 12 hours to deliver the most current forecast. SprayWise Decisions offers an innovative service helping rural landholders and contractors to better plan and match the timing of agrochemical sprays to prevailing local weather conditions. Access is available from your mobile or tablet for information on the go. Sponsored by Nufarm for its Australian customers, distributors and agronomists.
SprayWise Decisions is the ultimate decision support tool to determine when and where to spray to achieve optimum results safely. It’s just another example of how Infopest sponsor, Nufarm is helping you grow a better tomorrow.

From Sponsor Crop Care: Pontiac seed treatment for wheat, barley oats & triticale

Seed treatments are becoming more popular as a way to give crops a great start out with protection against diseases and insects in a more environmentally friendly manner. Crop Care’s Pontiac containing flutriafol, metalaxym-M and imidacloprid offers a unique seed treatment with two fungicides and insecticide in the convenience of a quality co-formulation.

Pontiac is effective against seed and soil-born fungal diseases that cause seed rots, damping off and root rot, targeting surface-born fungal pathogens on the seed surface and fungal pathogens that develop within the seed.

Specifically, Pontiac targets Pythium spp., Rhizoctonia solani, loose smut, covered smut, flag smut and common bunt. It also provides efficacy against Russian what aphid (RWA) and other aphid species, preventing the spread on Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV).

In stored grain situations, PONTIAC provides control of adults and progeny of many common stored grain insect pests, including:
• Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella)
• Psocids (Liposcelis bostrychophila, L. entomophila, L. decolor and L. paeta)
• Granary weevil (Sitophilus granarius)
• Lesser grain borer (Rhyzopertha dominica)
• Rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae)
• Rust red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum)
• Saw tooth flour beetle (Oryzaephilus surinamensis)
• Flat grain beetle (Cryptolestes ferrugineus)
For further information on the product click here.

Pest Spot – Gummy stem blight

Gummy stem blight is a major disease of cucurbits, particularly in tropical and subtropical areas. The disease can cause serious losses in watermelon, rockmelon, honeydew, squash, pumpkin and cucumber.

The fungus is seed-borne and can survive in soil, weeds and on crop residues. The fungal fruiting bodies contain large numbers of spores that can spread in the wind and splashing water. Warm and wet weather favours the disease.

Control options include the use of healthy planting material; rotating cucurbits with other non-cucurbit crops on a two-year cycle; correct application of the recommended fungicides, particularly if wet weather occurs; and the destruction of all organic debris from previous cucurbit crops by deep ploughing to reduce sources of inoculum from carrying over to new plantings. Discussions are being had over the appropriate fungicide options as none of the labels currently include this new stain.
The fungus Stagonosporopsis citrulli has been detected in a watermelon crop at Mareeba in Queensland. Until recently, the fungus Didymella bryoniae was thought to be the sole cause of gummy stem blight (GSB). Now, three morphologically similar species, Stagonosporopsis cucurbitacearum (synonym Didymella bryoniae), Stagonosporopsis citrulli and Stagonosporopsis caricae, have been recognised as causing GSB.

Symptoms are leaf spots, internal fruit rot and gum oozing from plant stems, hence the common name ‘gummy stem blight’.

The detection occurred as a result of relatively new molecular identification techniques. Stagonosporopsis citrulli is known to affect Citrullus species (e.g. watermelon), Cucumis species (e.g. cucumber, honeydew melon and rockmelon), and occasionally on Cucurbita species (e.g. pumpkin, squash and zucchini).

The Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP) has agreed that this fungus is not an Emergency Plant Pest (EPP) under the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed and likely to have been present for some time. Some records from Queensland under the names of similar species have now been shown to be Stagonosporopsis citrulli.

Growers are encouraged to maintain good on-farm biosecurity and continue with current control practices such as crop rotation, applications of registered fungicides and the destruction of crop debris.

Disease survey
Growers are reminded that a disease survey is being conducted by the melon industry to obtain grower feedback important in building understanding of the impacts of melon diseases. Access the survey here. Note: this survey is for growers only.
Used with permission by the Australian Melon Association Inc

Site of interest, Pestpoint

The brain child of the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (PBCRC), Pestpoint is a digital hub helping to manage agricultural pests. Pestpoint harnesses the power of social media for pest identification. It provides a web-space where an on-line community can create their own exclusive networks in which members collaborate with each other to identify damaging plant pests.

By using mobile devices to share pest images and other information, individuals draw on the collective knowledge of their networks to identify pests. Pestpoint documents this process and saves pest records in a searchable database.

Users can join networks, add their own enquiries and request specialist assistance. Pestpoint consists of two pieces of software, a web browser version for connecting people so that they can diagnose a pest problem ( and an iPad app for collecting field information about pests on the fly.