Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pest Management Centre (AAFC-PMC) hosted the 14th national minor use priority setting workshop in Ottawa at the end of March.
This meeting brought together university and federal researchers, crop extension specialists, provincial specialists, minor use coordinators, registrants, PMRA representatives, growers and grower organization representatives, processing companies and other stakeholders. In addition several individuals from the U.S. IR-4 program also attended the meeting.
The purpose of this meeting was to review the top minor use priorities identified by each of the provinces for all crops including ornamentals and to establish the top priority projects for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pest Management Centre (AAFC-PMC) to do work on in 2017.
A preliminary nematode workshop was held on the Monday afternoon, was well attended but did not identify many new management options. The first full day of the minor use program covered pathology priorities, the second day covered entomology priorities and the third day covered weed science priorities. This year biopesticide priorities were reviewed at the beginning of each discipline day and based upon national interest, two or three potential biopesticides projects were chosen each day for a merit analysis that will eventually choose three biopesticides Category A projects for PMC to undertake.
For the conventional minor use needs for each of the three main pest management disciplines, up to 10 top priorities (ranked as As) are chosen from a long list of identified crop protection product solutions. Additional secondary priorities (ranked as Bs) were also chosen for each discipline each day.
The provincial minor use coordinators could also add five regional upgrade projects at the end of the process and the organic industry could also add two priority projects to the list of chosen projects.
Additional top crop/pest issues that did not have any identifiable solutions were also chosen to be part of minor use screening trials designed to find some useful solutions for growers. At this year’s meeting the top priorities chosen for this group (called APWS) included balsam shoot boring sawfly on Christmas trees, blossom blight on alfalfa, Septoria on outdoor ornamentals, broadleaf weeds on coriander and quinoa.
The discussions, collaborations and decisions made at this meeting demonstrated the critical needs producers have and how the system can work to address them. Growers, researchers, registrants, provincial specialists and other stakeholders worked to reach consensus and negotiate needs. Overall the process was successful and now the next step is for AAFC-PMC to complete the minor use submissions that were agreed upon. Additionally the provinces also have to follow up on a number of potential submissions and rationales for minor use needs.
The following table summarizes the projects agreed upon for each discipline. These projects will be submitted to the PMRA by AAFC-PMC, and the data requirements completed in 2018-2019. Registration decisions for these will likely occur in late 2019 and 2020. A final version of the top projects will be available this summer on the AAFC-PMC website: http://www.agr.gc.ca/env/pest/index_e.php