Specialty crop and minor-use pesticide prioritization set for 2018 by IR-4

Participants at the 2017 IR-4 Food Use Workshop identified the most important research projects for the 2018 IR-4 food-use research program.

The IR-4 Project (Interregional Research Project No.4) has been facilitating registration of sustainable pest management technology for specialty crops and minor uses. Since 1963, the IR-4 Project has been
the major resource for supplying pest management tools for specialty crop growers by developing research data to support new EPA tolerances and labeled product uses. Specialty crop research needs are prioritized each year during a national workshop since resources are limited, according to IR-4.

Research priority A’s for the year 2018 field program for fruits, vegetables, nuts, field and oil crops, herbs and other miscellaneous crops in the United States and Canada were selected at the Food Use Workshop September 20–21, 2017, in Denver, Colorado.

About 130 people attended the two-day meeting: specialty crop researchers, extension specialists, representatives of commodity and industry groups across the country and personnel from EPAUSDA, IR-4 plus the AAFC (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada that conducts Canadian counterpart of minor use program), and PMRA (Pest Management Regulatory Agency, i.e., Canadian counterpart of U.S. EPA). For Michigan’s fruit and vegetable interest, the workshop was attended by MSU’s Bernard ZandstraSatoru MiyazakiJohn WiseMary Hausbeck and Lynnae Jess. Representing Michigan grower’s group was Dave Trinka (blueberry).

The prioritization process focused on the most critical pest management needs from all disciplines for each commodity. Participants were provided with a list of 162 pesticides “nominated” with desired priority of A prior to the food-use workshop. As a group, they ranked products based on availability and efficacy of alternative pest management tools (including ongoing projects for the same need and resistance management), damage potential of target pests, performance and crop safety of the chemical in managing the target pests, compatibility of the proposed chemical candidate with Integrated Pest Management, uses currently covered by Section 18 emergency exemptions, and harmonization implications due to lack of international MRLs (Maximum Residue Limits).

Based on projected budget appropriations for IR-4 in 2018, only 42 A priority projects throughout the disciplines were selected by consensus. Eighty-four projects were downgraded to “B” priority. An “A” priority guarantees IR-4 to begin the field residue program during the following season and complete it within 30 months. The timeline will be shortened when IR-4 joins the company’s petition submission schedule with the expectation that a complete data package be submitted to the EPA in 16-24 months.

In addition to the above projects that require pesticide residue analysis under GLP, eight “H+” (high priority plus) efficacy/crop safety projects were selected because potential registrants want to see the data first before IR-4 conducts full residue studies, or IR-4 needs to screen pest control products for new pests, the PPWS (pest problems without solution) projects.

Twenty-six A priority projects important for Michigan were selected. In addition, five candidate H+ projects for Michigan growers were identified (see Table 2.) Any “B” priority projects must be upgraded to A priority either by an Priority Upgrade Proposal (PUP) with good justification or by regional upgrade, i.e., the crops or the pests are limited to a particular region. At present, IR-4 may consider 10 upgrades should the budgetary situation become more favorable.

The following new candidate priority “A” projects listed are preliminary until affirmed at the IR-4 national research planning meeting Nov. 1-2, 2017. A complete listing can be found on the IR-4 website.

Table 1. Priority "A" projects for Michigan fruits and vegetables

GroupCommodityChemicalReasons for need
01AB Beet (garden) Benzovindiflupyr + Difenoconazole Cercospora leaf spot; loss of leaves compromises ability to machine harvest which is done by pulling leaves; disease is not being managed adequately with labeled fungicides
01AB Ginseng Propiconazole Fusarium, alternaria - needed due to alternaria resistance to boscalid and strobilurins, and need products active against fusarium
01CD Sweet potato (post harvest) Azoxystrobin + Fludioxonil + Difenoconazole Rhizopus soft rot (rhizopus stolonifer), black rot (ceratocystis fimbriata) - no effective options for postharvest disease control 
03-07B Leek Prometryn Weeds; need a post emergent option for weed control
04-16A Lettuce (gh) Spinetoram+Sulfoxaflor Aphids, whiteflies, lepidoptera 
04-16A Lettuce (head & leaf) Flutianil Powdery mildew
05-16 Broccoli Sulfentrazone Hophornbean copperleaf, pigweed
05-16 Cabbage Sulfentrazone Hophornbean copperleaf, pigweeds; no other products registered for nutsedge control in brassica crops 
05-16 Crop group 05-16 Uniconazole-P Growth regulation - without this, some crop plants will bolt under hot gh conditions
06BC Bean, lima (succulent) Oxathiapiprolin Downy mildew and phytophthora capsici 
06C Pea (dry) Sulfoxaflor Pea aphid, lygus bug
08-10A Tomato (gh) Cyclaniliprole Thrips, lepidoptera 
08-10BC Pepper (bell & nonbell) (gh) Fluopyram + Pyrimethanil Powdery mildew, botrytis 
09A Melon Nmg787 Nematodes; nematode management alternatives are limited
09B Cucumber Nmg787 Nematodes; nematode management alternatives are limited 
09B Cucumber (gh) Bifenazate Mites 
09B Squash Nmg787 Nematodes; nematode management alternatives are limited
12-12A Cherry Zeta-Cypermethrin Spotted wing drosophila - reduce phi from 14 to 3 days to allow better crop protection near harvest 
12-12B Peach Flutianil Powdery mildew 
13-07A Caneberry Flonicamid Stink bug, thrips
13-07B Blueberry Abamectin Bud mite
13-07B Blueberry Sulfur Dioxide Botrytis cinerea (grey mold) - there are no alternatives for post-harvest control
13-07G Strawberry Indoxacarb Leafroller, sap beetle, clipper, plant bug (including lygus)
13-07G Strawberry Nmg787 Nematodes; nematode management alternatives are limited
13-07G Strawberry (gh) Flupyradifurone Aphids, whiteflies; need additional control options for the gh industry
13-07H Cranberry Cyprodinil + Fludioxonil Fruit rot, phomopsis spp., colletotrichum spp., alternaria spp. 
18 Alfalfa Prohexadione Calcium Alfalfa survival is limited under the competition of the corn silage crop; prohexadione has been shown to increase first year alfalfa yields by 12% and fall stand densities by 37-130% compared to untreated interseeded controls: only residue data needed (on alfalfa and corn); 2-year, regional (state - wi) tolerance:09/17 
19A Basil (gh) Flupyradifurone Aphids and whiteflies
20B Sunflower Cyclaniliprole Target pest species are lepidopteran species, (head moth) as well as the nymphal stages of hemipteran plant bug species that feed on developing seeds in the sunflower seed head
99 Hops Cyantraniliprole (Hgw86) Hop flea beetle, psylliodes punctulatus - there are no registered controls; weevils - otiorhynchus spp (black wine weevil) 
99 Hops Cyflumetofen Two spotted spider mite, tetranychus urticae koch (acari: tetranychidae); needed for resistance management due to other failing miticides 
99 Mint (future: herbs) Lambda-Cyhalothrin Caterpillars, including early season cutworms and late season army worms

Table 2. High priority needs for efficacy/crop safety projects for Michigan fruits and vegetables

Group CommodityChemicalReasons for need
04-16B Greens (mustard) Clomazone Common purslane, velvetleaf, prostrate pigweed, annual grass; there are few options for brassica greens
13-07A Caneberry Glufosinate Primocane suppression 
19A Rosemary Flutianil Powdery mildew - is not being controlled with registered fungicides
19A Rosemary Pendimethalin Annual broadleaf and grass weeds 
19A Sage Flutianil Powdery mildew - is not being controlled with registered fungicides 

Drs. Wise, Zandstra and Hausbeck’s work is funded in part by MSU’s AgBioResearch.

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