Emergency chemical permit to protect Lower EP canola crop

Author: | Date: 29 Aug 2011

Diamondback moth

Emergency chemical permit to protect Lower EP canola crop

Lower Eyre Peninsula canola growers have welcomed an emergency permit to use an insecticide to combat the destructive diamondback moth (DBM) this growing season.

The Lower Eyre Agricultural Development Association (LEADA), with support from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), has been permitted conditional emergency use of the Affirm® insecticide with the active ingredient emamectin.

The emergency permit, issued by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), provides growers with the means to prevent significant crop losses, should DBM again develop into a serious crop threat this season.

LEADA spokesman Mark Modra says the 45,000 hectare (67,000 tonne) canola crop on Lower EP is currently valued at around $40 million.

“To know we have the ability to use this chemical if DBM does become a major problem again this season is great news,” Mr Modra said.

High levels of DBM infestation occurred last year, but the potential for canola crop losses worth tens of millions of dollars was averted when LEADA was granted emergency use of Affirm® insecticide.

Growers throughout the Lower EP are concerned about the increasingly high levels of DBM resistance to existing synthetic pyrethroid treatments.

Mr Modra said the problem was so severe on the western side of the peninsula that some producers had stopped growing canola altogether.

“To have the option of using this chemical will give those growers, and others on the Lower EP, the confidence to grow canola which is not only a valuable source of income but is also an important part of our crop rotations in terms of managing cereal diseases and other agronomic factors.

“It’s not just about protecting this year’s crop – the impact is much broader. It means growers can plan ahead to include canola in their farming systems which is very reassuring.”

Undergoing GRDC-funded trials, Affirm® is a product registered in the cotton and horticulture industry and is known to effectively control DBM. It is expected to play an important future integrated pest management role in the canola industry.

The permit for use of Affirm® is restricted to canola crops on Lower EP only and is subject to strict rules and conditions.

Mr Modra says it is critical that growers adhere to the conditions of use, which relate to withholding periods, maximum application rates and spray drift restraints.

“The regulations are in place for a very good reason. Growers need to ensure they do the right thing and demonstrate good pesticide stewardship, to protect our valuable markets,” Mr Modra said.

Mr Modra commended the GRDC for addressing the DBM resistance issue through funding the development of alternative crop protection products.

“We hope to have Affirm® available to use on a permanent basis as just one option in a range of controls that will enable us to proactively manage DBM in an effective and environmentally sustainable way.”

To assist growers with their DBM control strategies, the GRDC has developed a fact sheet that can be downloaded via www.grdc.com.au/GRDC-FS-DiamondbackMothSouthWest. It is also available from GRDC Ground Cover Direct, freecall 1800 11 00 44 or email ground-cover-direct@canprint.com.au.


ENDS

• For more information contact LEADA spokesman Mark Modra on 0427 866 877

• This media release and other media products are available via www.grdc.com.au/media