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.


Our sponsors

Infopest is proudly sponsored by WFI one of Australia’s leading providers of business insurance, farm insurance & strata insurance.

To join our sponsors, please contact Janine Clark on 07 36203844 or jclark@growcom.com.au

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 info@agsafe.org.au 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.

June 8, 2017

Changes to Infopest

Infopest online subscription changes

Dear Infopest user,

This letter is to notify you that as of 13 June 2017, you will no longer be able to access Infopest online for free. All good things must come to an end and to continue to provide this valuable industry service, a fee for service model will be introduced.

As of 13 June when you visit the Infopest site www.infopest.com.au , you will note the new look of our page. From here you will be required to subscribe to continue to use Infopest. Simply “sign up”, or “join now” to pay online with your credit or debit card.

Yearly subscriptions will now be charged 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.

If you’re a Growcom grower member, we will contact you separately on how to activate your membership.

If you have any difficulties with subscribing, please contact us on free call 1300 367 911 or admin@infopest.com.au

We look forward to welcoming you back to Infopest online and thank you in advance for your continued custom and support.

Janine Clark
Manager, Chemical Access
Growcom, Infopest

Changes coming to Infopest

In our last newsletter we hinted at some changes coming to Infopest. Since then, the team has been working at updating our Infopest website to give it a new look and feel and to enable users to securely register and pay for their annual subscription online. We know that Infopest is a valuable service which is trusted as the go-to source of information on chemical use for as many as 4,500 registered users. This service comes at a cost and in order to maintain and upgrade this service, it is necessary to introduce a fee for use.

Yearly subscriptions will now be charged 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.

Considering users once paid over $300 a quarter for the Infopest disc, we think this represents great value and will enable us to offer further benefits to users as we make improvements to the search site.

Changes will be implemented in June 2017. We look forward to your continued custom and to serving you better with your chemical access searches into the future.

APVMA considers new herbicide, bicyclopyrone.

Earlier this year in the United States, Syngenta introduced wheat growers to new technology available this growing season. Talinor™ herbicide (bicyclopyrone + bromoxynil) is a post-emergence herbicide developed to control broadleaf weeds in wheat and barley.

It is pleasing to see that the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) are also considering a registration application for Talinor Herbicide in Australia.

The Australian proposed product is listed as schedule 5 and will be used for the post-emergent control of a range of broadleaf weeds in wheat and barley. APVMA’s assessment has been positive of the product and public comment is welcome on whether the application for registration of the product should be granted. Individuals can make written submissions before the close of business on 1 May 2017. The Public Release Summary can be viewed here.

Talinor™ has two active ingredients and two modes of action. It contains 175 g/L bromoxynil present as the octanoate, 37.5 g/L bicyclopyrone and 9.4 g/L cloquintocetmexyl in an emulsifiable concentrate (EC) formulation. Bicyclopyrone is the new active that is being assessed as part of this application.

Bicyclopyrone is a selective herbicide. It is a member of the triketone sub-group of the class of herbicides that inhibit 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (4-HPPD). There are no herbicides of the triketone subgroup currently registered in Australia. For weed resistance management purposes bicyclopyrone is a Group H herbicide. Bromoxynil-octanoate has the inhibition of photosynthesis at photosystem II mode of action. Bromoxynil is a member of the Group C herbicides, in the nitrile sub-group. Cloquintocet-mexyl is a crop safener, which accelerates the detoxification of herbicides in cereals and is not subject to a resistance management strategy. For weed resistance management purposes Talinor Herbicide is a Group C, H herbicide.

Syngenta promotes this herbicide as delivering excellent standalone control of resistant and other difficult-to-control broadleaf weeds, including kochia, lambsquarters, mayweed chamomile, Russian thistle and wild buckwheat, and particularly those that have become resistant to ALS-inhibitor, synthetic auxin and glyphosate herbicides.

All going well, wheat and barley growers can look forward to a new tool to assist with resistance management in the near future.

Sponsor Agsafe and Freshcare: supporting global food safety compliance

Agricultural and veterinary (agvet) chemical suppliers to Australia’s food croppers can wear their Agsafe Accreditation proudly, with accredited stores demonstrating they are helping producers meet the strict food safety requirements of the nation’s top five supermarket groups.

Freshcare was established in 2000 to assist producers to demonstrate their food safety practices and comply with customer requirements for produce supplied to Aldi, Coles, Costco, Metcash and Woolworths. In 2017 Freshcare will be benchmarking to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) to ensure the program continues to grow.

One of the requirements of Freshcare certification is for producers to manage their suppliers to ensure that all food safety risks to produce are managed. This includes purchasing chemicals from compliant businesses, such as those accredited to Agsafe.

Agsafe General Manager, Alison Carmichael, recognises the non-profit organisation’s life-cycle schemes as integral to responsible agricultural stewardship.

“Our industry-supported Code of Practice is recognised at the highest level and the more codes like Freshcare and Agsafe support and reference each other, the better the outcomes for everyone,” she said.

“We commend Freshcare on their alignment with our programs, which are well-known and well-established.
“Growers can be assured the advice they receive about chemical products is trustworthy and meets with all legal requirements.”

Freshcare Executive Officer, Clare Hamilton-Bate, said,: “It’s important for growers to ensure they are buying chemicals from suppliers that comply with the applicable requirements of the Freshcare Codes, which Agsafe accreditation provides.”

From Sponsor, Nufarm: Need a ‘wingman’ for your herbicide?

Nufarm’s Avadex Xtra becomes the ultimate wingman when paired with pre-emergent herbicides – providing consistent, reliable control of problem weeds, including annual ryegrass. When partnered with TriflurX, the two provide a solution for the management of these and other weeds. The synergistic benefits from the combined application provide improved weed control compared with using the two products individually.

Avadex Xtra contains 500 g/L of the active ingredient tri-allate. Avadex Xtra is a group J herbicide that works by inhibiting fat synthesis. TriflurX contains 480 g/L of the active ingredient trifluralin. TriflurX is a group a group D herbicide that works by inhibiting tubulin formation.

When both herbicides are incorporated and come into contact with moisture they turn into a gaseous vapour, filling the pore spaces within soil. This vapour is then absorbed by the coleoptile and roots of germinating weeds, inhibiting growth.

The combination of Avadex Xtra and TriflurX is registered to control: Annual ryegrass, wireweed/hogweed, wild oats, cereal oats, phalaris spp., fumitory, sand fescue, silver grass, winter grass, paradoxa grass/canary grass, corn gromwell, sheepwood and rough poppy.

The combination of Avadex Xtra and TriflurX is registered for soil surface suppression of: Brome grass, barley grass, three-cornered jack/doublegee, caltrop, yellow burr weed, deadnettle and speedwell.

As a bonus, qualifying Top Cropper members can earn double points on their purchase. Click here for terms and conditions

You can download the 2017 pre-emergent efficacy guide too.

For more information on Nufarm’s Avadex Xtra click here.

Stats on insecticide use

Insecticides are formulated to kill, harm, repel, or mitigate one or more species of insects and offer several advantages to producers. According to a report from MarketsandMarkets, the insecticide market is projected to grow to reach USD 20.82 Billion by 2020.
Analysis of the market has shown that:

  • Organophosphates accounted for the largest market share in 2015
  • The U.S. and U.K contribute to a larger share for these insecticides globally
  • Cereals and grains accounted for the highest consumption of insecticide use in 2015
  • Baits were the formulation which is projected to have the highest growth rate for use
  • The Asia-Pacific region is projected to be the fastest-growing market between 2016-2022

Key players in the market include BASF SE (Germany), Bayer CropScience Ag (Germany), Dow AgroSciences (The Dow Chemical Company) (U.S), ChemChina (Syngenta AG) (China), E.I du Pont de Nemours and Company (U.S.)
For more info click here.

The surest way to extend the life of insecticides: resistance management strategies in grains and pasture:

You have likely heard it time and time again, that using insecticides as the primary means of pest control in crops places strong selection pressure for the development of resistance.

A prime example is the green peach aphid (GPA). In Australia, GPA is known to have resistance to four different chemical groups: synthetic pyrethroids (e.g. alpha-cypermethrin); organophosphates (e.g. dimethoate); carbamates (e.g. pirimicarb); and, as detected in 2016, neonicotinoids (e.g. imidacloprid) . This recent discovery of neonicotinoid resistance means that sulfloxaflor is the last chemical group available to grain growers without any known resistance in GPA. Another pest with increasing concerns around resistance and limited chemical control options is the redlegged earth mite (RLEM), a major pest of pastures and broadacre crops.

The strategic use of insecticides with different modes of actions is a key pillar in the fight to minimise the selection pressure for resistance in agricultural pests. It is an integral principle of science-backed Resistance Management Strategies (RMSs), two of which have been created to combat RLEM and GPA.

With the 2017 winter-cropping season kicking off soon, growers and advisers involved in grain and pasture production are urged to follow these RMSs.

Regional differences in GPA resistance levels across Australia mean that regionally relevant approaches are needed.

To download the GPA RMS click here.

Similarly, due to local differences in resistance levels in RLEM, there is a need to implement a RMS that is locally relevant.

To download the RLEM RMS for Western GRDC region click here .
To download the RLEM RMS for the Southern GRDC region click 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 – Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP)

The National Management Group (NMG) for Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP) —comprising all Australian governments, affected industries and Plant Health Australia—has agreed that TPP is no longer technically feasible to eradicate. Since the detection of Tomato Potato Psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) in WA, The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) have been undertaking surveillance in commercial crops and backyard gardens in the Perth area.

The NMG has agreed to continue with the current TPP response plan for two weeks, while a transition to management plan is prepared. During this period, surveillance to confirm the absence of Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) will also continue. Further information on the Quarantine Area Notice can be found on the DAFWA webpage.

The Tomato Psyllid is a sap sucking insect that is responsible for economic losses to tomato and potato crops as well as other solanaceous crops. While feeding by the psyllid may adversely affect the hosts, the main issue with this species is that it can be a vector of the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum which causes ‘zebra chip’ disease in potatoes.

Surveillance has not shown any evidence of CLso, which is some consolation for industry.

The Tomato psyllid has a long history as a pest in tomatoes and potatoes dating back to records in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s respectively. Besides plant species of economic importance (tomato, potato, capsicum, sweet potato, egg plant), psyllid pests utilise many other hosts that are ornamentals or weeds. In 2009 Biosecurity Australia listed 63 host plants, 36 of which are known to occur in Australia.

The Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture has put together a key for identifying the tomato psyllid and how it differs from other psyllids occurring in Australia, click here.

Adult tomato psyllids measure 1.3-1.9 mm in length (2.8-3.2 mm including the forewings). When freshly moulted the body is initially pale green or light amber but soon darkens to mainly brown or almost black. The head and body have distinctive whitish markings which vary in size and intensity. The antennae have a striped appearance due to the lighter colouration of the basal two-thirds of segments 3-8. More details on the diagnostic characteristics of adult tomato psyllid are given in the key.
The WA government is advising that commercial growers check their crops and report any signs of the psyllid to the department using the My Pest Guide Reporter App

Growers are advised not to spray specifically for the psyllid until their crops have been surveyed and appropriate chemicals for use have been identified.
However, Emergency permits have been issued for treatment of tomato-potato psyllid in nursery stock, potato, sweetpotato, tomato, capsicum, chilli, peppers and eggplant.

For more information on these permits, please see Permit 84229 and Permit 84245.

Growers in other states who think that this pest may be present in their crops or backyards should report this to their state or territory department.

Useful links:
The Department of Agriculture has produced the Diagnostic Protocol for the detection of the Tomato Potato Psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc)

Video:Tomato potato psyllid: How to check my vegetable patch | Department of Agriculture and Food WA

Happy New Year

Hello Infopest users and welcome to the first edition of Infopest News for 2017. We hope you’ve enjoyed a healthy break over Christmas and look forward to assisting you with your chemical searches in 2017.

There are exciting new changes coming to Infopest in 2017 so watch this space for further details.

Enjoy reading our latest newsletter and may 2017 be a prosperous and pest free one!

APVMA’s Dimethoate draft regulatory measures

Popular insecticide dimethoate was nominated for review in January 1994. After prioritisation, the scope of the dimethoate review was developed in consultation with agencies, states and territories. The scope of the review included the related compound, omethoate and covered toxicology and public health; residues and dietary exposure; residues impact on trade; and occupational health and safety issues.

Notice of reconsideration was sent out for public comment in 2004, with the review of omethoate being conducted separately.

The toxicology assessment for dimethoate was published in January 2011 and the residues and dietary risk assessment report in August 2011.

The August 2011 residues and dietary risk assessment report determined that the use of dimethoate on many crops could result in dietary exposures that exceeded the Australian health standard (the acute reference dose). The APVMA announced that it proposed to suspend dimethoate products to issue new instructions for their use that mitigated the identified dietary risks and invited public submissions regarding this proposal.

On 6 October 2011 the APVMA finished its assessment of the public submissions and suspended all products containing dimethoate and issued new instructions that no longer allowed the use of dimethoate on a number of food crops due to unacceptable dietary risks. The suspension was extended to 5 October 2016.

Which now brings us to the current point of the draft regulatory measure. On 26 October 2016 the Dimethoate proposed regulatory decision report: Volume 1 and Submissions and technical reports: Volume 2 were published and a consultation period of three months began. The APVMA invited individuals and organisations to provide submissions by COB Tuesday 27 January 2017.

The APVMA is expected to make a final decision on the dimethoate review before 1 March 2017.

Additionally the APVMA is proposing to amend the standard for the active constituent dimethoate to include maximum impurity levels for omethoate and isodimethoate. The consultation period for this review ends 27 January 2017.

The report takes into consideration the recommendations in the technical assessment reports:

  • toxicology report
  • occupational health and safety report
  • re-entry interval calculations which were updated September 2016
  • dimethoate residues and dietary risk assessment report: updated June 2016.

The APVMA has assessed the available information and concluded that the use of dimethoate according to its current instructions for use does not meet the safety criteria listed in sections 5A of the Agvet Codes for continued registration and approval.

The APVMA is proposing to:

  • maintain the approvals of dimethoate active constituents
  • vary the label approvals of the most recent label approval for 400 g/L dimethoate products
  • maintain the registrations of those products and the varied labels
  • cancel the registrations of home garden products containing more than 100 g/L dimethoate and
  • limit pack sizes of the agricultural 400 g/L dimethoate products to volumes of greater than 1 litre.

As a separate process the APVMA is also proposing to amend the standard for the active constituent dimethoate to include maximum impurity levels for omethoate and isodimethoate. The consultation period for this ends 27 January 2017.

This review has so far spanned 22 years and is likely to go on for several more. For further information click here.

APVMA improves application assessment times

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) records in their 2015/2016 Annual Report that it has “focussed heavily on ways to lower the regulatory burden for industry when it comes to making an application, as well as improving the overall experience of applications in interacting and transacting with the APVMA”.

Changes in legislation are being cited as assisting the agency to reduce the regulatory burden for industry and improve their time frame performance on applications.

APVMA has undertaken an audit of their progress in application times and it has shown that the average time taken to register a product is now shorter than under the previous legislation.

We congratulate the APVMA on this achievement and its ongoing work with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to develop an Australian crop group list for the purposes of improving access to chemicals for Australian growers.

More than 500 permits have been reviewed to determine if their uses could be moved to permanent label registration.This would eliminate the need for industry and growers to renew permits each year, saving considerable time and effort for all parties.

The APVMA has published summary tables for their regulatory decision making.

Summary of activities related to regulatory decisions in the APVMA July 2015 – June 2016

Pre-application assistance 175 145 42
Product registration— pesticides 905 1029 408
Product registration— veterinary medicines 701 704 316
Actives 342 213 289
Permits 562 599 179
Items 8L, 8M, 8P 695 689 32
Item 25 15 24 12
Notifiable variations 736 696 37
Import consents 608 620 61
Certificates of export 367 429 30
Total 5106 5148 1406
Although overall the time frames have improved, it is concerning that by the APVMA’s own admission there were negative effects caused “by higher than expected unplanned staff leave in the September quarter”. This caused backlogs for subsequent quarters.

With the planned move to Armidale, and many of the APVMA’s current scientists stating they will not make the move with the agency, staffing issues may well affect the productivity increase in 2016-17. Time will tell! For a full copy of the annual report click here.

Imidacloprid not quite the ‘nasty’ we thought it was?

The neonicotinoid, imidacloprid is one of the most widely-used insecticides in the world because of its effectiveness and its relatively favourable human and environmental safety profile. However, it has been under scrutiny lately for its effects on bees and for its level of risk to sensitive aquatic invertebrate communities.

According to CropLife, a major new ecotoxicological review and risk assessment by scientists published in peer-reviewed literature has concluded that registered crop and non-crop uses of imidacloprid in the United States are of minimal risk to sensitive aquatic invertebrate communities. This is also good news for other wildlife, such as birds and fish, since these insects are an important part of their diet.

Further to this, a 2015 study from the University of Maryland showed that imidacloprid did not significantly harm honey bees at ‘real-world’ dosage levels. Galen Dively emeritus professor of entomology at UMD and lead author of the study contends that imidacloprid is not the sole cause of honey bee colony decline, but that it contributes as part of a bigger picture.

Dively points the finger at other stresses increasing the bees’ susceptibility to imidacloprid, citing factors such as climate stress, malnutrition, and diet imbalance. He does however conclude that there is some evidence to show that doses 20 times greater than real-world dosages make colonies more susceptible to Varroa mites.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has completed a broad overview of issues relating to honeybee health in Australia, with a particular focus on the use of neonicotinoid insecticides. It published a report Overview Report: Neonicotinoids and the health of honey bees in Australia.

This concludes that current scientific literature demonstrates a lack of consensus on the causes of bee declines, essentially agreeing with Dively and the University of Maryland report that there are a wide range of possible causes contributing to the problem.

APVMA continues to assess and monitor the situation and will update their website should significant new information become available.

Aussie chemical company, Nufarm at home and abroad

It’s good to see an Aussie company making good on the international front. Nufarm Limited currently employs people in 30 different countries. A manufacturer, distributor and marketer of crop protection chemicals it is now the ninth largest crop protection company in the world and a market leader in Australia.

The company has manufacturing and distribution platforms in Australia, North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. It holds approximately 4000 product registration and markets products in more than 100 countries. In Australia, Nufarm has 149 products registered, including the leading brands, Credit, Nuprid and Weedmaster.

To learn more about their business click here.

And they have a sense of humour! Nufarm’s Facebook page posted this Youtube video where their herbicidal products are being used by the manufacturers of the precision spraying technology, WEEDit, in this humorous adaptation of Michael Jackson’s Beat It. Spray technology at its musical best!

Nufarm is a major sponsor of Infopest and we thank the company for its support.

How can AgSafe and its programs help you?

Infopest is all about responsible chemical use. That’s why we appreciate our sponsor AgSafe’s ethos on safe storage, handling, transport and sale of chemicals. Their two programs, ChemClear and drumMUSTER focus on container management and end-of-life disposal of agricultural and veterinary chemicals.

Each year, ChemClear receives registrations for more than 100 chemical users ranging from farmers, golf courses, schools, bowling greens, chemical distributors, turf and pest management organisations, all seeking to safely dispose of their old pesticides. The program strives to help chemical users make good purchasing, storing and disposal decisions with their agvet chemicals. Before this stewardship program began, farmers and other chemical users across Australia had very limited opportunities to dispose of their unwanted, unstable, inherited and unknown chemicals.

The chemicals ChemClear collects are classified as either Group 1 or Group 2 under the program. Group 1 are collected free of charge to chemical users as a levy has been paid on these products at the point of sale. Participating manufacturers’ chemical drums display a logo which denotes eligibility under the ChemClear and drumMUSTER programs. One hundred and twenty-one manufacturers of agvet chemical are voluntary members of the program, showing exemplary corporate responsibility for the industry.

Group 2 chemicals include unlabeled, out of date, deregistered or mixed chemicals and chemicals from non-participating manufacturers. Group 2 products attract a fee per litre charge for disposal. drumMUSTER is Australia’s leading agricultural stewardship program with more than 800 permanent collection locations across Australia and 28 million containers recycled since the program commenced in 1999. More than 120 chemical manufacturers are participating in the program with thousands of their clients returning close to 2 million drums per year for recycling.

New sites are established every year to offer better access for local chemical users to dispose of their chemical drums and containers.

AgSafe provides a range of practical benefits to its members. Why not consider joining them today? For more information, click here.

From sponsor, Crop Care: Managing glyphosate-resistant annual ryegrass in orchards and vineyards

Disappointing weed control is a concern in Australian orchards and vineyards, with a growing incidence of glyphosate resistance – especially in annual ryegrass.

The current register of known cases of glyphosate-resistant annual ryegrass in horticulture includes 37 incidences in SA, WA, NSW and Victoria, plus glyphosate-resistance in fleabane in both orchards and vineyards. All have occurred where there has been continuous reliance on glyphosate for several years, with little or no other use of alternative mode of action herbicides or other weed-control practices.

Australian Glyphosate Sustainability Working Group (AGSWG) and Crop Life recommendations for growers to reduce the risk of herbicide-resistant weeds include:

  • Rotating herbicide mode-of-action groups within and across years, and using herbicides with lower frequency of herbicide resistance.
  • Using robust label rates for maximum, consistent control of target weeds.
  • Using non-herbicide weed control to reduce weed seed banks and prevent weeds going to seed – including cover cropping, mowing, mulching, and strategic grazing.
  • Good farm hygiene with only clean machinery, vehicles, stock and footwear allowed in the orchard.

David Hughes, a research and development specialist with Crop Care Australasia, said growers had successfully lowered the incidence of herbicide-resistant weeds by adopting those practices.

To detect signs of glyphosate resistance; to use different modes of action to select herbicides in weed control plans; and to view herbicide trials to enable successful control of herbicide-resistant ryegrass click here.

Infopest searches show that there are 26 options of actives registered or permitted for use against ryegrass in grapes, of which 11 are glyphosate based. Infopest is a good tool to help you with selecting options to manage resistance.

Further to December newsletter article: Glyphosate guilty until proven innocent? The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) met December 13-16, 2016, to consider and review a set of scientific issues being evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding EPA’s evaluation of the carcinogenic potential of the herbicide glyphosate. This is the meeting that was rescheduled from October 18-21, 2016. For further info, click here.

Pest spot – Preparing for Vegetable leaf miner

Vegetable leaf miner (Liriomyza sativae) was recently detected in a remote location at Seisia on Cape York Peninsula.

The Agromyzidae family (to which the pest belongs) is a well-known group of small, morphologically similar flies whose larvae feed internally on plants, often as leaf and stem miners. Nearly all species are very host-specific but a few highly polyphagous species have become important pests of agriculture and horticulture in many parts of the world.

Plant Health Australia has a number of fact sheets on leaf miner and a contingency plan should the pest spread.

The insecticide, cyromazine is effective against leaf miners as it targets larvae inside the leaves. However, it is important to keep resistance management in mind. The pest’s propensity to develop resistance can make it difficult to control.

In preparation for any potential incursion, Horticulture Innovation Australia through Growcom has submitted an application to the APVMA on behalf of the vegetable industry to request an off-label permit. The application is still being assessed, and should it be granted, will not be activated until an incursion in a farming region is detected.

Internationally, it is reported that biological control measures have also proved quite effective in managing vegetable leaf miner.

In Europe, the combination of two parasitic wasps has been used to successfully control the pests. Dacnusa sibirica is introduced to the crop early, after monitoring and scouting has found presence of the pest. It is efficient when temperatures and pest pressure are low. Dacnusa actively seek out larvae in the leaf tunnels as they are mined. Being an endoparasite, the wasp deposits its eggs inside the body of the larvae. An added advantage is that it only seeks out healthy larvae − not ones already paralysed.

Diglyphus isaea is less skilled at seeking out pest larvae, but works best when pest pressure is seen to be increasing. Female wasps locate second or third stage larvae and use their ovipositors to puncture and inject paralyzing toxins in the body of leafminer larvae. Unlike Dacnusa sibirica, the females of Diglyphus lay 1-5 oval shaped eggs next to (not inside) the body of paralyzed larva. Each female wasp generally lay about 50 eggs during its life span of two weeks when the temperature is above 20ºC. Immediately after hatching from eggs the larvae of mini wasps start feeding externally on the larvae of leafminers. Because of this external feeding habit, Diglyphus isaea wasp larvae are considered as ectoparasitic wasps. Females of Diglyphus isaea wasp are also parasitic in nature and known to kill and feed on several leaf miner larvae during their life-span. Click here for source article.

Pest thresholds and the timing of releases are the keys to success. There is evidence to suggest that cyromazine and the two parasytic wasps can be used in combination. Although these wasps have been assessed under Australian Threat Specific Contingency Plans, they have not yet become available in Australia.

Event of Interest: AgChem Conference in Brisbane on March 14th 2017

Infopest is sponsoring the AgChem Conference for 2017. Workshop presenter, Craig Watt, General Manager of Chem-Safe Australia, Globally Harmonised System (GHS) Compliance and Chemical Safety Specialist will be offering information which a wide range of Infopest users may benefit from.

The goal of this conference is to improve chemical safety management in agriculture with focus on pesticides such as herbicides, insecticides and fungicides as well as the chemicals used in aquaculture and the veterinary industry. The use of the agricultural chemicals is regulated, so it’s important that everyone understand their responsibilities when using these chemical products. The conference will also cover the storage, handling and transport of dangerous goods in agriculture and the newly adopted Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of labelling and packaging chemicals in Australia.

The GHS is a United Nations created system for the classification, labelling and safety data sheets (SDS) of chemicals on a global basis. The GHS was accepted worldwide in 2012 and as of the 31st December 2016, all workplace chemicals in Australia (excluding VIC and WA) must be classified according to the GHS and labels and SDS must be updated.

You might be asking, how will the introduction of the GHS affect me? The USA has also changed to the GHS format in 2013 and Europe in 2014. This affects Australia as many of our chemicals originate from these continents and we are now starting to see these new GHS symbols, diamonds and revised SDS structure on these products. The new GHS system will change the risk profile of our chemicals; therefore rural business operators need to be aware of the changes to protect their employees from hazardous conditions and prevent negative health affects.

This conference will explore the variety of updates the introduction of the GHS will have on your business and offer best practice when dealing with your dangerous goods. Anyone working with agricultural chemicals has a duty of care; a responsibility to carry out their tasks in a manner which will not cause harm or injury to themselves, other people, their property, animals or the environment. This event will ensure that you stay legally compliant with the Australian and international law and regulations.

To download the full conference brochure, click here, or to register online click here.

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: www.apvma.gov.au/news-and-publications/public-consultations 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 (www.pestpoint.org.au) and an iPad app for collecting field information about pests on the fly.

Pest Spot – Russian wheat aphid

Infopest regrets an error made in linking to a map of Russian wheat aphid absences rather than finds.

Russian wheat aphid (Diuraphis noxia) (RWA) has since been detected across substantial portion of Victoria’s cropping zone, and is now into southern NSW. For further information on finds of RWA, PestFacts south-eastern has an update with a current map of the confirmed distribution of RWA in Australia.

Infopest apologizes for any confusion this may have caused.

APVMA considers new active constituent, bicyclopyrone

Bicyclopyrone is an HPPD inhibitor making it a Group H mode of action in Australia, rather than a Group 27 Herbicide as printed from international classifications. See CropLife Australia’s Herbicide Mode of Action table. This will be the third active from this group in Australia.

Infopest apologizes for any confusion this may have caused.

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.

Autumn brings new challenges

The first quarter of the year is already behind us and with the onset of autumn we are beset with new challenges from pests in our crops and animals.
Thank goodness we have Infopest to back up our search for the most cost effective and efficient control agents registered in Australia. And it is still free!
That’s thanks to the contributions of our sponsors, Crop Care, WFI and Agsafe. To join our sponsors, please contact Janine Clark by email: jclark@growcom.com.au or telephone: 07 3620 3844.

Sign up in May and win

To encourage more people to use Infopest, Australia’s handiest ag & vet chemicals industry tool, we are running a end of financial year user drive. Once again, thanks to our good friends at Crop Care, one lucky new user who joins us before 30 June will win this 55L Waeco Ice Box. Spread the word! This offer is open to all new users of Infopest online who register in the months of May/June 2016. The winner will be drawn in July and notified by e-mail.

APVMA evaluating new active for ag & vet uses

Australia is not ranked highly in the global order for receiving new chemistry, so it is encouraging to know that the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has evaluated the new active, bixafen for use in ag and vet products. APVMA Gazette

Bixafen has fungicidal properties. It works by inhibiting mitochondrial function by disrupting complex II (succinate dehydrogenase) in the respiratory electron transport chain. In layman’s terms, mitochondria are specialized structures within the cells of animals, plants and fungi. They serve as batteries, powering various functions of the cell and the organism as a whole. Bixafen stops the mitochondria from working properly, thus killing the cells.

Bixafen has had its first regulatory approval worldwide in the United Kingdom on cereal in 2011, so it may yet be some time before we see product registration in Australia. Germany is next on the registration list. Bixafen registered in UK

Bixafen was developed specifically for foliar application to control important cereal diseases such as septoria leaf blotch (Septoria tritici) in intensive cereal growing regions. APVMA’s evaluation of Bixafen (manufacturing process, quality control procedures, batch analysis results and analytical methods) has found them to be acceptable. Toxicological aspects of bixafen, show no reason to object on toxicological grounds to the approval of this active constituent. An Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of 0.02 mg/kg bw/d and an Acute Reference Dose (ARfD) of 0.2 mg/kg bw have been set. The APVMA is satisfied that the proposed importation and use of bixafen would not be an undue toxicological hazard to the safety of people exposed to it during its handling and use.

Remember that although the active may have been assessed by APVMA, products containing bixafen are yet to be registered, so watch this space for further updates.

Register your Dichlorvos products with ChemClear

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has cancelled the registration of any product containing the chemical Dichlorvos following a suspension and phase out period. The chemical is an organophosphorus insecticide and was mainly used as a fumigant or spray.

The cancellation was in response to a review of the chemical by the APVMA that identified concerns relating to trade, public and occupational health and safety, environmental impacts and residues of this active constituent.

The APVMA determined that the concerns relating to Dichlorvos were real due to its high acute toxicity and its carcinogenic potential, and that there was a significant risk to human and animal health. They determined there was a potential risk to users relating to application methods, product label instructions, exposures, safety standards and warnings.

Any reseller or customer still holding stores of Dichlorvos product should register them with ChemClear for responsible disposal as soon as possible.

National ChemClear Program Manager Lisa Nixon said, “ChemClear is the right program for the safe collection and disposal of products containing Dichlorvos in Australia. We have 121 participating manufacturers in the ChemClear scheme and it is our policy to accept their products up to two years from deregistration with the APVMA.”

She continued, “Given the two year limit, it is important that those holding stocks of Dichlorovos from any of our manufacturers register their product before January 2017 for free disposal. Anyone storing chemicals containing the product after this time can still register them with ChemClear, but the service will attract a fee per litre for disposal.”

Visit www.chemclear.com.au to download an Inventory Form and record any unwanted products. Interested persons can then either register on the same site, call 1800 008 182 or email the form back to chemclear@toxfree.com.au.

ChemClear has collected and disposed of more than 501 tonnes of surplus agvet chemical across Australia since the start of the program in 2003.

Can I still use glyphosate?

Popular herbicide, glyphosate has been frequently in the news of late. The debate is over its status as a carcinogenic substance. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is the specialised cancer agency of the World Health Organisation (WHO) assessed glyphosate for its carcinogenicity in March 2015.

IARC found that there was “limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.” Thus it has been classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A)”. In their report, IARC Monographs Volume 112: evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides, the IARC defines this category as:

“…Used when there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. Limited evidence means that a positive association has been observed between exposure to the agent and cancer but that other explanations for the observations (called chance, bias, or confounding) could not be ruled out. This category is also used when there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and strong data on how the agent causes cancer.”
International Agency for Research on Cancer

IARC has provided scientific evaluation based on a comprehensive review of the scientific literature. However, it is the responsibility of individual governments and international organisations to recommend regulations, legislation or public health intervention.

As the Australian regulator, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) published their response to this finding in November 2015. http://apvma.gov.au/node/13891

APVMA is examining the full monograph to determine whether any regulatory action is necessary, including whether glyphosate should be reviewed. APVMA has been working in conjunction with WHO via a joint expert taskforce to review all relevant information. The taskforce has recommended that the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) undertake a full evaluation of glyphosate to consider all adverse human health effects, including carcinogenicity. We can expect this re-evaluation to be completed by May 2016.

The APVMA’s recommendation is that: “Based on current risk assessment the label instructions on all glyphosate products—when followed—provides adequate protection for users”.

Infopest advocates to: ‘always read the label first and use chemicals responsibly.’ You can use Infopest to view all registered glyphosate product labels and Safety Data Sheets.

Workplace health and safety, chemical handling and YOU.

Most Infopest users identify themselves as primary producers of crops. This means there are many of them likely to be using agricultural chemicals on a regular basis.

Australian legislation governing the management of risk associated with hazardous chemicals in the workplace is the Work Health and Safety Act (the WHS Act). Safe Work Australia is an Australian Government statutory agency which works with the Commonwealth, state and territory governments to improve work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements. This agency has developed Managing Risk of Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace, Code of Practice 2012 (The Code). The Code is an approved code of practice under section 274 of the WHS Act. This Code provides practical guidance on how to manage health and safety risks associated with hazardous chemicals for persons conducting a business or undertaking who use chemicals in their workplace.

Whilst Safe Work Australia has published the Code, they are not a regulator of health and safety. This responsibility falls to the Commonwealth, states and territories to regulate and enforce work health and safety laws in their jurisdiction.

Each of the states and territories has different bodies undertaking the regulatory function. In Queensland for example this function falls to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Office of Industrial Relations (WHSQ) so if there is a chemical handling incident in your workplace, WHSQ are the ones who will investigate it and prosecute any breaches of legislation. Safe Work Australia has a handy spot on their website which enables you to find a regulator in your state or territory.

To limit risk associated with hazardous agricultural chemicals getting chemical accreditation for handling and application training is always a wise idea.

Here at Infopest, we always promote responsible chemical use. Part of this is being suitably accredited to apply and handle pesticides. The mandates for accreditation vary in each of Australia’s states and territories but chemical training company, Smith & Georg have put together a handy infographic which allows people to click on and find out their requirements dependent on their location.

Smith & Georg has taken care to ensure the information provided in this document is correct. As requirements may change over time, and individual situations vary, no responsibility is taken for any loss that might occur from using the information provided. If in doubt, always check your own situation with the relevant regulator(s) in your state.

Patent application to protect Nail

Nail 600 was launched in 2015 to complement Nail 240 and give resellers and farmers access to a higher loading, more robust herbicide which is better suited to larger farm operations. Tank mixed with Shirquat 250 (paraquat), Gladiator CT or Gladiator Optimax (glyphosate), Nail 600 improves the brownout on broadleaf weeds, expands the weed spectrum and improves the control of tough weeds such as marshmallow, capeweed and Paterson’s curse.

“Farmers like the robust performance of Nail 600 and the savings in freight, storage and handling,” Chris said.

“Farmers with larger operations find the concentrated formulation of Nail 600 easier to use, because they need less herbicide per hectare and it’s convenient to carry the pack on the boomspray or spray truck and add to the spray tank on the go.

“Nail 600 allows them to reduce their exposure to solvents and handle fewer containers.

“At the same time, Nail 600 comes in a range of pack sizes and has the widest compatibility of any carfentrazone product, so it can be tank mixed with more than 40 other herbicides including Alliance (paraquat and amitrole), Spray.Seed, Biffo (glufosinate) and Shirquat (paraquat).”

Crop Care has now filed a provisional patent in Australia to protect higher loading carfentrazone ethyl formulations of 450g/L and above. Chris Ramsey, Marketing Manager with Crop Care, said the patent application would help secure the future of the company’s unique Nail formulations including its current 600 g/L formulation branded as Nail 600.

“These products are unique to Crop Care and we are determined to keep it that way,” he said.

“With the security of patent protection, we are committed to building on the success of Nail 240 which was developed from the ground up in Australia in 2014.

“As we expand our Nail range with the 600 g/L formulation and others in the development pipeline, we want to ensure our product development initiatives are protected.”

Chris reminded farmers that adding Supercharge Elite surfactant will further improve the performance of Nail 600 in many cases, particularly in tough conditions.

“As attention turns to the 2016 knockdown season, we look forward to working with our customers to enhance their experience with Nail 600.”

Practical course in using knapsack or hand pressure sprayers

Whether you’re a home gardener, groundskeeper, bushcare volunteer or council worker, there will be times when you may need to use a knapsack or hand pressure sprayer to control weeds or insects.
You’ve read the label and data safety sheet of the chemical selected for the job but you still need to know how best to use and maintain the spray equipment to handle the job efficiently and safely.

Smith & Georg is a Registered Training Organisation which has prepared a Using Chemicals Safely Course for those times when you need simple instructions that focus on the WHS aspects rather than full chemical accreditation. The course is proving to be a winner with Councils, Landcare, Green Army and groundskeepers.

As a sample of the course, Smith & Georg has prepared a 30 minute video, Using Chemicals Safely, which looks at such issues as:

  • What size sprayer for the job?
  • Backpack or hand held?
  • What about nozzle selection, spare parts and accessories?
  • Apart from what the label stipulates, what safety gear is essential?
  • When should you avoid spraying?
  • Hints on filling.
  • Common mistakes in spraying.
  • What is involved in cleaning up?
  • Safety tips – using separate sprayers and safety tags.
  • Why not check it out today?

Smith & Georg is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO40075) that specialises in Chemical Accreditation Training. For 20 years, Smith & Georg has offered face to face training. For the past five years, rural and remote students have also been able to complete their courses online.
Smith & Georg’s quarterly newsletter is available online: AgChemNews

Hot tips – Dealer Searches

Have you ever wanted to see all the products registered by one particular company or get a list of all the permits that a holder has in their name? The Dealer Search is your tool of choice.

Select that search option from the starting page and type in “Crop Care” as an example.

Select the 100 per cent match “Crop Care Australasia Pty Ltd” then in the lower menu bar, select “Go to Products”.

There are 158 search results listed alphabetically by trade name. Each of the columns in the search result table allows you to filter by clicking on the column header. For example, to filter by Mode of Action, use your mouse to click on that column header and Infopest will automatically alpha-numerically filter them for you.

Should you wish to generate a list of all the permits that Growcom holds on behalf of industry, click on the “HOME” option in the top menu bar to start a fresh search.

Again, select “Dealer”, then type Growcom into the search field and hit enter.

Tick the 100 per cent match with Growcom in the search results and then “Go to Products” in the lower menu bar.

The results are filtered in order of APVMA number or, in this case, permit number. You can easily export the list to Excel using the lower menu bar. Happy searching!

Pest Spot – Flaxleaf fleabane

Among the hard to kill weeds agriculture must contend with is flaxleaf fleabane. It is known by many common names: Argentine fleabane, asthma weed, conyza, flax-leaf fleabane, flaxleaf fleabane, flax-leaved fleabane, flax-leaved horseweed, fleabane, hairy fleabane, hairy horseweed, horse-weed, horseweed and little horseweed.

An exotic species, fleabane has become widely naturalised and is very common in south east Queensland and most other parts of Australia.

Flaxleaf fleabane (Conyza bonariensis) reproduces only by seed, which is easily blown and dispersed by the wind. Seeds may also be spread by machinery, water, vehicles, animals, and in clothing and contaminated agricultural produce.

Flaxleaf fleabane grows up to 1 m in height and has erect, multiple-branching stems covered with stiff hairs. Leaves are grey-green, deeply indented, coarsely toothed and covered in fine hairs. Its branches often grow taller than the main plant axis .

Flaxleaf fleabane plants feature hairy leaf surfaces, thick cuticles and few stomata – a combination that affords the weed a natural tolerance to herbicide. Glyphosate resistance has been identified in flaxleaf fleabane populations, located in NSW and Queensland.

While herbicide control can be effective, particularly when plants are treated at the seedling stage (rosette), it is also important not to under-estimate the value of crop competition in the winter cropping phase. Fleabane seedlings are highly sensitive to crop competition and any bare patches in a paddock provide an ideal environment for fleabane establishment.

Infopest does not make recommendations for pest management, so for information on managing this weed, visit www.weedsmart.org.au or study the Northern IWM Fact Sheet:
Infopest can then be used to determine if products are registered or permitted for use in your circumstances.