As restrictions continue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are serious effects on the number of field and greenhouse crop protection trials that can go forward in 2020. Dr. Marcos Alvarez, executive director, research, for the Pest Management Centre, updated stakeholders on June 3.
“Given the very limited activities permitted since March, many 2020 field trials had to be postponed to next year,” Alvarez wrote. “Only about 30 per cent of the field trials planned for 2020 will be set up this year with the remainder 70 per cent deferred to 2021.”
Analysis by the Pest Management Centre analysis showed that, not only will there be limited capacity for the number of new trials to be conducted in 2021, there will be limited or no capacity for work on certain crops.
As a result, for the this year’s “A” selection process, PMC:
· must limit the number of new “A” Priority projects to 10;
· removed all priorities that require greenhouse space, as current trials are already scheduled for 2021;
· removed all priorities on forages and hemp, as several trials on these crops are scheduled for 2021;
· must limit the number of priorities on hops, potatoes, cranberries, and any perennial crops to one priority per crop, due to space limitations.
On May 29, consensus was reached between the PMC, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), and provincial management use coordinators, on the process for selecting this year’s final “A” priorities. Each region (BC, Prairies, ON, QC, Atlantic) will select one regional priority, and the remaining five priorities will be selected during a Virtual Priority Setting Workshop with stakeholders.
Source: Pest Management Centre, June 3, 2020 letter to stakeholders