March 24 – 26, 2015
Mark Sweeney
Berry Industry Specialist

Alf Krause, James Bergen, Karina Sakalauskas and I attended these meetings on behalf of the BC berry industry. As in past years, the objective of the meeting and process was to identify products for minor use registration to address the major pest challenges across all minor crops in the country. At the end of each day, 10 “A” priorities are selected for each discipline, entomology, pathology and weeds. These candidate products enter the Pest Management Centre’s minor use process and, if all goes well, ultimately become registered for use in Canada.

Our key objective at this meeting was to obtain new products for control of spotted wing Drosophila, and given the potential challenges with fungicide resistant Botrytis, to find alternative products. The berry group, working together with national berry colleagues, was successful in obtaining the following A priorities in 2015:

Blueberry Spotted Wing Drosophila Malathion (increase rate)
Caneberry Spotted Wing Drosophila Malathion (increase rate)
Raspberry Weeds Dual Magnum (metalochlor)
Blueberry Weeds Heat (saflufenacil)
Caneberry Botrytis Fracture (BLAD polypeptide)
Strawberry Thrips Beleaf (flonicamid)

Given the intense competition amongst all the commodity groups for the 35 available A priorities, this is a significant accomplishment for the berry industry.

There are many other benefits to the BC berry industry in having strong representation at these meetings. We have developed strong working relationships with berry sectors across the country. Pesticides registrants are now much more aware of the significance of the berry industry and the various pest problems. Because of this, more products are coming to Canada with berry crops on the first registered label, enabling the minor use process to be bypassed. Attending the meetings allows dialogue with the regulatory staff which affords them a better understanding of the BC berry industry needs.

Of specific interest, we were able to encourage movement in the registration of Danitol, learned that two new Botrytis products that are on track for berry registrations and a new potential SWD registration is also in the works.

Following the minor use meetings, a separate meeting was held with Richard Aucoin, head of PMRA, and his senior staff, to make a case for obtaining an emergency use registration (EUR) for Capture (bifenthrin) for SWD control in blueberries. Previously, PMRA had advised the industry that they would not entertain an emergency registration for this use. A very open discussion was held in which we were able to present the critical need and address PMRA’s questions and concerns. The outcome of the meeting was positive in that shortly after PMRA informed us that they would accept a submission for this use. While this does not yet mean the use will be approved, it is a very important first step that would not have been achieved without a face to face meeting.

Add to Favourites