Change has come to Infopest

Firstly, you can now access Infopest by purchasing an annual subscription. Many of our previous users are already showing their support by continuing to use our product. Our thanks to all who have remained with us.

Yearly subscriptions are as follows:
Growcom grower members: Free – included in your Growcom membership
Individuals: $50 +GST annually
Students: $20 + GST annually

Group subscriptions can be negotiated with larger businesses, Government organisations, and education facilities.

We look forward to your continued custom and to serving you better with your chemical access searches into the future.

Secondly, it is time to farewell our sponsors Crop Care and AgSafe. Crop Care are amalgamating into their parent company Nufarm (our continuing sponsor) so we can say “au revoir” rather than goodbye, and while AgSafe are leaving, we maintain our great working relationship and joint commitment to responsible chemical use, storage and disposal. Thanks for the support over the years and enabling Infopest to continue with our service to supply information of registered agvet chemicals in Australia.

Finally, it is also time to farewell one of our Infopest Officers, Paul Simpson. Paul has been with us for five years and with the State Government for more than 20 years serving tirelessly with his extensive chemistry knowledge to keep Infopest up to date. We will be welcoming his replacement shortly. We wish Paul all the best for his retirement and thank him for all he has brought to Infopest over the years.

Changes afoot in chemical access areas

Things never stay the same for long and there are a number of areas in chemical access which are experiencing change at present. Infopest uses data directly sourced from the regulator, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). The APVMA are experiencing a period of dramatic change with relocation from Canberra to Armadale pending in 2019 and current transition to the new location underway.

APVMA has welcomed their Interim Chief Executive Officer, Dr Chris Parker, who has over 30 years experience working in the agricultural and veterinary fields, combined with extensive government experience. He has held a number of senior executive positions in agricultural policy divisions in the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry dealing with biosecurity service delivery, regulatory policy and operational delivery, and broader departmental policy. Most recently Chris has led work in the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to regulate plant exports and improve export access through reducing technical barriers to trade. Let’s hope that Dr Parker’s wealth of experience and expertise will take the APMVA forward for the next phase of its journey. For more information on the APVMA’s move, click here.

In the mean time, there are many chemical companies who are in the midst of mergers and product ownership changes. Infopest sponsors, Nufarm and Crop Care will come under the one Nufarm brand for products in August 2018.

Internationally chemical giants DuPont, Dow Chemical and FMC are hammering out deals on a Dow / DuPont merger and FMC product acquisition. Similarly Syngenta is being taken over by ChemChina and Bayer is to buy Monsanto.

Domestically, APVMA will have its hands full with paperwork for changing chemical products and we will see those changes reflected in the Infopest data. They say, ‘a change is as good as a holiday’ but I see no holiday in the near future for those having to keep up with all these changes. But if things don’t change, they’ll stay as they are!

APVMA seeks comment on new Actives: Aureobasidium pullulans strain DSM 14940 & DSM 14941

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has before it an application from Nufarm for the approval of two new active constituents, the microbial fungus Aureobasidium pullulans strains DSM 14940 and DSM 14941, for use as a biological fungicide that protects grapes from infections with grey mould (Botrytis cinerea).

The strains of A. pullulans DSM 14940 & DSM 1491 were isolated in 1989 at the University of Konstanz from an apple plantation. A. pullulans is a globally ubiquitous saprophytic yeast-like fungus that can be found in different environments e.g. soil, water, air and limestone. The fungus can occur naturally either externally or internally on a wide range of plant species without causing any symptoms of disease.

Infopest lists over 200 products registered to manage grey mould in grapes. Current registered actives include: azoxystrobin (Group 11); boscalid (Group 7); captan (Group M4); chlorothalonil (Group M5); cyprodinil (Group 9); fenhexamid (Group 17); fenpyrazamine (Group 17); iprodione (Group 2); procymidone (Group 2); and pyrimethanil (Group 9).

The mode of action of A. pullulans against Botrytis cinerea on grapes occurs through active competition for space and nutrients thereby excluding plant pathogens from infection. Internationally, the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) has classified Botector Fungicide as “Not Classified”. Due to the mode of action of A. pullulans (competition in nutrition and space), there is no potential for traditional fungicide resistance development.

The APVMA invites submissions which relate only to matters that are considered in determining whether the safety criteria set out in section 5A of the Agvet Code have been met. Submissions should state the grounds on which they are based. For further information click here.

Sponsor Nufarm’s Weedmaster Argo – The dual salt knockdown specialist

Infopest has been tweeting about the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative’s (AHRI) reminder on resistance management, “How to break glyphosate”.

Infopest sponsor Nufarm has put forward its dual salt knockdown product, Weedmaster Argo, as an ideal partner in a complete spray program. The Technote and ARGO Compatibility Guide demonstrate Nufarm’s drive to protect valuable herbicides such as glyphosate by using them as part of a weed management strategy.

The dual salt technology was developed in Australia by Nufarm and is a key component of weedmaster ARGO and the weedmaster range. Unlike many other glyphosates, weedmaster ARGO is formulated using two bases to form an advanced glyphosate formulation. Combined with a tailored surfactant package, Dual Salt Technology allows for a higher active loading and accelerates plant uptake as the glyphosate passes through the cuticle into the plant sap transport more quickly. Dual Salt Technology also provides improved compatibility over single salt glyphosates, better mixing in hard water and fast brownout on a wide range of weeds.

To protect glyphosate products such as Weedmaster Argo, Infopest encourages users to consider resistance management in any area of pesticide application and make wise choices to alternate with chemicals from different modes of action wherever possible.

Agsafe Safety for Leaders course

Managing work health and safety is a key responsibility for every business but can sometimes feel like a never-ending and tedious task that takes you away from your core business.

In a positive safety culture, everybody values safety and everybody contributes to safety every day. It is not something mandated from afar – it is up close and personal.

Within a positive workplace, safety is no longer seen as onerous because responsibilities and actions are shared. With a focus on prevention, there are fewer incidents and research shows that safe businesses are more often successful businesses.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Would you like to create a culture like this in your workplace?
Agsafe has partnered with the NSCA to provide ‘Safety for Leaders’, a new one-day course tailor made for Agsafe members.

Aimed at managers, supervisors and anyone responsible for safety in the agvet chemical workplace, this course will provide you with tools to help improve safety culture using a team approach.

This includes raising awareness about the importance of positive performance, organisational safety culture, legislative responsibilities, risk management, consultation in the workplace, and ensuring policies, procedures, publications, job descriptions, training and workplace practices are consistent with the culture you are seeking to achieve.

A safe and healthy workplace does not happen by chance or guesswork. Take a step towards becoming a more effective safety leader by registering for this new course which will take your safety management skills to the next level.

Register your interest to enroll for courses on the Agsafe website.
For more information contact Agsafe Training or phone: 02 6208 6888

Glyphosate and communicating risk

In previous issues, this publication has followed the see-sawing pathway of world authorities on the topic of whether glyphosate can be linked with cancer. If you are looking to make an informed opinion based on the information at hand, then this webinar produced by the National Pesticide Information Centre (NPIC) is an excellent resource.

Presenter Kaci Buhl gives a very easy-to-understand overview of how major players such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) came to opposing views on whether glyphosate causes cancer. Ms Buhl explains the concept of hazard vs. risk and uses startling graphics to show the rise of glyphosate use in the Unites States to demonstrate where the alarm has been generated amongst the chemical use watchdogs.

The second half of the webinar concentrates on communicating risk and how it is perceived by individuals. Ms Buhl says one’s world view affects risk perception and how they rate benefits vs. risk for any given situation, citing personal outrage factors as a major influence. She states: “Risk perception is personal – just because someone disagrees, doesn’t mean they are wrong.”

In a framework for risk communication, there needs to be changes to the use of wording between “risk” and “safety” – safety being a yes or no situation and risk being more accurate but harder to explain. Risk provides a precautionary scale and relates to specific concerns of the individual. Click here to view the webinar and form your opinion:

Pest Spot – Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP)

The Tomato Potato Psyllid is a tiny pest that has entered the agricultural focus in Australia in a big way of late. Since its first Australian detection in February 2017 in metropolitan Perth Western Australia, it has caused a stir amongst growers of Solanaceae and Convolvulaceae family crops. Its presence has resulted in the implementation of emergency movement restrictions to prohibit the importation of hosts from the affected plant families into other states and territories of Australia. This directly affects well-known products like potatoes, tomatoes, capsicums, eggplant and sweet potato. For growers or industries concerned about interstate produce movement restrictions, visit the Australian Interstate Quarantine site.

As reported in our last newsletter, the decision was made that the TPP is no longer feasible to eradicate. Moves have been made to increase the number of chemical control options available to growers of affected crops to assist in managing the spread of this pest.

The Rural Industries Development Corporation (RIRDC) managed project PRJ-010722 enabled the AgChem Access Priorities Forum to be held in Canberra in July. This project, which is funded by the plant industry Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) and CropLife Australia, resulted in discussions between numerous chemical registrants and industry to progress projects that will enable access to suitable chemicals currently not available for TPP control.

Although this is no quick fix for the situation, over the mid to longer term, it will assist growers in managing the spread of this pest. Hopefully this assistance will form part of the movement protocols that enable safe market pathways for produce from affected areas to markets in other non-affected states.

Profile of Coming Off-Patent Agrochemicals in 2017-2027

In the previous article on glyphosate and communicating risk, the presenter shows a graph depicting the use of glyphosate in the US over time. She points to the sharp areas of increase at certain periods of time from 1996-1997 where roundup-ready crops were introduced, and then 2010 where they came off patent. It is interesting to consider the amount of products, whether crops or the pesticides used on them, will come off patent in coming years and to speculate on the affects this might have on chemical use.
A report published by WBISS Consulting Co. Ltd. states that “during the time from 2017 to 2026, patents of 48 pesticide varieties will expire, including 20 fungicide products, 14 herbicide products and 14 insecticide products”.

In a competitive market place, many pesticide registrants are looking for a commercial edge. The knowledge can perhaps offer “a comprehensive introduction and analysis for these coming off-patent products” and “help enterprises […] find potential business opportunities.”

In this report, WBISS provides a detailed profile for each product coming off-patent and other information including:
1. Basic information (formula, formulation types and chemical structure)
2. Physical & Safety Data (physical properties, toxicology)
3. Technology and synthesis route introduction
4. Application (e.g. crops for application, diseases or insect pests and weeds for application, dosage)
5. Patent situation in China, Japan, EU and USA (patent number and expiry date)
6. Registration situation in 30 countries (registered product, specification, and registrant)
7. Key findings by WBISS

There is a real need to support patented products as hundreds of thousands of research and development dollars go into their production. Without that purchasing support, innovation fails and an industry can be left with the consequences of resistance development and no new chemistry to protect valuable crops or livestock.

Site of interest, Farming with Apps

There’s a wealth of handy apps out there to assist you in almost every area of life including farming. Tasmanian farmer James McShane runs Farming with Apps, a website that critiques agriculture technology.

Contrary to some beliefs, farmers are using smartphones and tablets as much as any other industry. There is real value in having a farmer contribute factual information on the tools they use to give a hands-on perspective of which ones best suit each user group.

Farming with Apps provides information on categories such as cropping, farm management, farm storage, livestock, mapping, pastures, quality assurance and utilities based apps. Site curator Mr McShane also has his own app designs on the page. In the interest of impartiality, the site sticks to the facts.

People often ask us if we will ever make an Infopest app. We hope to in the future but in the meantime, Farming with Apps blog on ‘web apps’ may be useful when applied to Infopest. Did you know it is possible to create a shortcut on your home screen so you can access the web app like a native app? Click here to check it out.