2 February, 2017

Hort industry secures more than $1.2 million in chemical grants

An estimated 7000 produce and nursery growers across Australia stand to benefit from increased access to chemicals after Horticulture Innovation Australia today secured more than $1.2 million in agriculture research grants.

Horticulture Innovation Australia Chief Executive John Lloyd said the organisation was successful in securing 26 grants in the latest round of the Australian Government’s agriculture and veterinary (Agvet) chemicals programme – which is a big win for industry.

“Pleasingly, this round of chemical research grants stands to benefit a broad range of producers from nut, citrus, berry, tropical fruit and vegetable growers to nursery product producers,” Mr Lloyd said.

“Now Horticulture Innovation Australia looks forward to getting on with the job of gathering the information needed for these uses to satisfy the requirements of registrant companies and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) to support new label registrations.”

By law in Australia, any plant protection chemicals used in agriculture must be assessed and approved by the APVMA. For this to occur, the APVMA must be satisfied with the chemicals’ safety and effectiveness, which requires the provision of specific data. These grants will be used to help provide that data.

“The costs for generating and collating the information required to meet regulatory standards are high and unfortunately many horticultural crops are too small individually for chemical manufacturers to bear the cost of registering products for use,” Mr Lloyd said.

“This Agvet grant funding will open up more opportunities for growers to better manage pests, weeds and disease, ensuring the sustainability and profitability of the industry, and quality products for consumers.”

Sectors that stand to benefit are:

Tree nut crops: Bayer Crop Science Luna Sensation Fungicide for the control of a range of fungal blights.
Blueberries and pineapples: Bayer Crop Science Movento Insecticide for the control of a range of scales and mealybugs.
Brassica leafy vegetable crops, onions and beetroot: BASF/Agnova Zampro Fungicide for the control of Downy Mildew.
Nursery (non-food), strawberries and carrots: BASF Versys Insecticide for the control of a range of Aphids and Whitefly species.
Citrus fruit including tangelos and lemons, and mango: BASF Imbrex Fungicide for the control of fungal diseases.
Assorted tropical and sub-tropical fruit crops including custard apples, lychee, papaya, passionfruit, persimmons, olives and the berry crop group (rubus): Adama Trivor Insecticide for the control of numerous bugs, hoppers and scales.
Assorted tropical and sub-tropical fruit crops including custard apples, persimmons passionfruit, olives, berry crops (rubus), and bulb vegetable crops: Bayer Crop Science Luna Privilege Fungicide for the control of a range of fungal fruit and vegetable blights.

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