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Historical document

Generation of residue data for pesticide minor use permit applications in almond tree crops (AL11013)

Key research provider: Agrisearch Services Pty Ltd
Publication date: 2016

This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.

What was it all about?

In Australia, before an agrochemical product could be sold or used, it first had to be registered by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). In order for a manufacturer to register a product they were required to submit a comprehensive data package to the APVMA. The costs for generating and collating such data was high and unfortunately many crops were too small for agrochemical manufacturers to bear the high cost of registering products for use in those crops. As a result, almond growers were often placed in situations where they risked severe crop losses from insects, weeds and diseases because appropriate pesticides were not available. On the other hand, they risked buyers rejecting their produce and other penalties if they were detected using products that were not registered for that specific use.

The APVMA’s National Permit System added some flexibility to the lengthy registration process and legalised the availability of products for minor-use purposes, not specified on the product label. However, off-label permits issued by the APVMA still had to be applied for, along with information and data submitted, that verified that the permitted use would be effective and would not have had any harmful effects on humans, the crops or the environment.

In this project, a single study was conducted on the miticide/insecticide active ingredient abamectin. This study was conducted at two different field sites in Victoria and South Australia on almond tree crops. Abamectin had been registered for many years as a broad spectrum miticide and insecticide. It had registrations in a wide range of horticultural crops including apples, pears, tomatoes and strawberries. It was also registered on a wide range of winter and summer field crops. There had been an APVMA minor use permit in place for the use of abamectin in almonds (PER5658).

This study involved one application of VERTIMEC MITICIDE/INSECTICIDE (18/L abamectin) in tank mix with VICOL SUMMER OIL (825 g/L petroleum oil) at 28 days before harvest and sampling the crops at normal commercial harvest time. The sampled plant parts were then analysed for residues of abamectin. A detailed study report on the field and analytical components of the project was prepared and this would be used as part of a minor-use permit application to the APVMA. The report could also have been used in the future in applications to the APVMA for label extensions to existing registered products.

The major outcome of this project was that if the permit application was approved, an additional pesticide would become available for use by almond growers. This project had been part of a larger programme of research into the minor-use of pesticides in horticulture.

Although the outcomes of this project were met there was an ongoing need for growers to have access to newer and better pesticides and so similar projects needed to be planned and conducted in the future.


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Funding statement:
This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) using funds from the Australian Government and Osprey Pty Ltd.

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2016. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).