Welcome to our last Infopest News for 2017

As this is our last newsletter for the year, we at Infopest would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your support and wish you joy and prosperity for the Christmas season and 2018. As most past users of Infopest would know, our delivery method has changed to a user pays subscription. If you used Infopest prior to June 2017 and are yet to use it since, you will need to re-register and subscribe for use now.

Since our last newsletter, Infopest has welcomed David Buckland to our team. David has been learning the ropes at a fast pace and is becoming a valuable asset in the area of data entry. He has extensive experience with agricultural and horticultural chemicals in regards to usage, storage, transport, safety data sheets and manifest management. We are pleased to have him on-board applying his knowledge and experience to the benefit of our database.


APVMA on top of cross contamination of Agricultural chemicals

Earlier this year, it was discovered that in the process of manufacture, some herbicides sold on the Australian market had been contaminated with other substances. The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) first became aware of the issue in December 2016 due to the companies in question requesting voluntary recalls of their affected products.

While there are clear legislative obligations for the APVMA to publish compulsory recalls in its Gazette, there is no legislative trigger for the APVMA to publish voluntary recalls on its website.

The APVMA considered the voluntary recall actions proposed by the companies and concluded that on balance, compulsory recalls were not required. As a result of the voluntary recalls undertaken by the companies, the APVMA understood that the majority of the chemical products involved were removed from sale.

As recently as August, in separate circumstances, the APVMA issued hefty fines to another company for the supply of herbicides found to contain additional chemical actives other than those listed in the registered formulation for the product.

New APVMA CEO Dr Chris Parker also announced that the details of agvet chemicals subject to a voluntary recall would now be published and available on the APVMA’s website.

The voluntary recall of registered agvet chemical products may be proposed or undertaken by a manufacturer or supplier at any time for a variety of reasons. A voluntary recall should be considered as a risk mitigation activity. It may occur in response to an identified manufacturing quality or other issue related to specific batches of a chemical product.

However, not all voluntary recalls represent non-compliance with statutory requirements. When the APVMA receive a recall notification, they assess the risk and provide prompt advice about registrant responsibilities.

Most recently, the APVMA announced they ran 896 tests on 16 agricultural chemicals to screen for potential contaminants, with September results coming back 100 per cent compliant. This is good news as it provides chemical users and the general public with confidence that manufacturers are taking their responsibility seriously and their products comply with the registered formulation.

“[The APVMA’s] compliance and enforcement program provides vital checks and balances that ensure registered products remain safe and effective and will work as intended. We’ll be testing more products over the following months,” said Dr Parker.

These are positive moves that are most welcome in light of contamination issues earlier in the year.


New actives being assessed for registration in the US

The Australian market is often delayed in receiving products with new active ingredients being registered elsewhere. However, it is wise to look to the future and keep an eye on what may eventually come our way. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has advised it received applications to register a number of pesticide products with active ingredients currently not included in any registered products. It has listed 10 applications for a range of herbicides, along with an insecticide and a plant growth regulator. For more information on the actives being assessed, click here.


APVMA assesses new active: isofetamid

To illustrate the point of the previous article, isofetamid fungicide was listed as a pesticide by the EPA in the US in July 2015 and was fully registered in Canada in June 2016. The APVMA has evaluated the chemistry aspects of isofetamid active constituent and found them to be acceptable.

Isofetamid is of the Carboxamides family with a mode of action as a succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor, meaning that it limits the ability of an enzyme complex to work in the cells of the target organism. The APVMA has also considered the toxicological aspects of the active and concluded there are no toxicological concerns which would prohibit them approving it.

Pending the assessment of public submission on isofetamid, Australia would hope to see an approval in 2018. Since being registered in the US for control of grey mould in strawberries and in-season disease control in lettuce, canola, almonds & grapes, it is hoped that we will see similar registrations of isofetamid in Australia.


What’s happening in Farm Management Software?

Farm record keeping no longer takes the form of a simple spray diary. There are so many factors to manage in today’s large farming enterprises that numerous companies are creating specific management software tools to assist in the process. Market and Markets Research Private Limited have prepared a report on the Farm management Software Market.

The report covers North America, Europe and Asia and Pacific regions in its brief. It is segmented on the basis of:
Farming Type: Crop farming; Livestock farming
Service: Managed services; Maintenance & support
Application: Record keeping; Farm mapping; Monitoring; Farm economics; Resource & inventory management; Others
Delivery Model: On-premise; Cloud based

The report lists the established players in the market as: SST Development Group, Inc. (U.S.); The Climate Corp. (U.S.); Iteris, Inc. (U.S.); Deere & Co. (U.S.); and Trimble Navigation Ltd. (U.S.). Some of the key emerging companies are: Conservis Corp. (U.S.); Granular, Inc. (U.S.); Agrivi Ltd. (U.K.); FarmerEdge (Canada); and New Science Technologies Ltd. (Cyprus). A number of these companies are at play in the Australian market.

But how do you choose which product is right for your circumstance when there are so many out there to choose from? Well, the ability to compare the market certainly helps. To this end, The Digital Farmer has conveniently listed the digital products and apps that assist in the management of your cropping and livestock program. Listed alphabetically, the product overview summarises where each product fits in terms of product categories; product availability; and how to gain access to the product. It also includes a product description and an overview of cost with the link to the product website, making comparison an easier task. To visit The Digital Farmer, click here.

If you are in the market for some assistance with your farm management systems, this site is worth a look.


Members of European Parliament back full ban on glyphosate

We have recently followed along with the tumultuous ride of one of the world’s most widely used herbicides:  glyphosate. Governments worldwide have debated how safe glyphosate is to use in relation to it being a potential carcinogen. In recent weeks, the European Commission’s proposal for a ten-year license for the continued use of glyphosate has failed to gain the support of European Parliament. Members of the parliament’s Environment Committee have instead backed a full ban on glyphosate based herbicides by December 2020, along with immediate restrictions on its use. Click here for more information

However, doubt has been cast over the content of the ban proposal document by international news agency Reuters in an article. Reuters claim that a draft of a key section of the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) assessment of glyphosate underwent significant changes and deletions before the report was finalised.

The US News article by Kate Kelland states: “The edits identified by Reuters occurred in the chapter of IARC’s review focusing on animal studies. This chapter was important in IARC’s assessment of glyphosate, since it was in animal studies that IARC decided there was “sufficient” evidence of carcinogenicity.

“One effect of the changes to the draft, reviewed by Reuters in a comparison with the published report, was the removal of multiple scientists’ conclusions that their studies had found no link between glyphosate and cancer in laboratory animals.

“Numerous national and international agencies have reviewed glyphosate. IARC is the only one to have declared the substance a probable carcinogen. Compared with other agencies, IARC has divulged little about its review process. Until now, it has been nearly impossible to see details, such as draft documents, of how IARC arrived at its decision.”

The vote mentioned in the previously quoted article has since taken place and according to further information from Reuters, “EU countries failed again to agree on a renewal for glyphosate” with the European Commission proposing a four-year license extension for the chemical’s use. See here.

Although international decisions do influence the topics of chemical review here in Australia, the nation’s regulator, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) conducts their own assessments of risk. In the case of glyphosate, the APVMA has concluded the use of the chemical in Australia does not pose a cancer risk to humans. View the APVMA’s conclusion here.


Diamondback moth resistance management strategy in canola

While the winter-cropping season is drawing to a close for many this year, diamondback moth (DBM) control for 2018’s canola crops begins this summer with green bridge management.

The green bridge refers to weeds and volunteers which grow between cropping periods helping insects (and diseases) to survive between seasons. Canola volunteers and brassica weeds can germinate and grow after summer rains, providing a comfortable retreat for DBM to multiply and survive between winter-cropping seasons. Ensuring these hosts are removed and managed will help to reduce reliance on insecticides as the primary means of DBM control in canola.

An integrated approach to DBM control is crucial. Frequent insecticide use to combat DBM caterpillars in canola and vegetable crops has placed strong selection pressure on this pest to develop resistance to multiple chemistries – particularly organophosphates and synthetic pyrethroids. While there are alternative chemistries still available, employing cultural control methods such as green bridge management, will extend the life of remaining effective insecticides against DBM.

A comprehensive resistance management strategy for diamondback moth in Australian canola has recently been developed to help growers effectively control this pest, while at the same time minimising the selection pressure for further resistance development. The strategy was developed by the grains National Insecticide Resistance Management (NIRM) group, and endorsed by CropLife Australia.
Download the full strategy here:

For further information contact:
Dr Paul Umina or Julia Severi, cesar
Phone: (03) 9349 4723
Email: pumina@cesaraustralia.com, jseveri@cesaraustralia.com


Pest spot – Vegetable Leafminer

A pest in the Torres Strait Islands since 2008, vegetable leafminer has been making its way South arriving in Cape York Peninsula with detection occurring in 2015. This small black and yellow fly lays its eggs inside leaves and stems in a broad range of host plants, interrupting the ability of the plant to photosynthesize, leading to secondary infections and produce being less acceptable for market.

Plant Health Australia (PHA) has noted the fly as an Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD) Category 3 pest, whereby funding for its response plan receives funding on a 50:50 basis between Government and Industry. PHA has developed a number of informative fact sheets to assist growers with their knowledge on the pest and how it affects certain crops here.

The good news is that Horticulture Innovation, in partnership with Cesar, the University of Melbourne, Plant Health Australia, the Northern Australian Quarantine Strategy (NAQS) and AUSVEG, has announced the funding of a new project, MT16004, involving research and development for the control, eradication and preparedness for vegetable leafminer.

The project aims to:

  • Investigate biological and chemical control options;
  • Identify spread pathways into Australia;
  • Develop management guidelines and trapping methods;
  • Model the spread of the pest from Cape York Peninsula; and
  • Develop a contingency plan and response plans in the event of a regional eradication.

For more information, click here.


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