b"Positive PMRA Potato Insecticide RulingThe potato industry is viewing the latest PMRA decisions as good signs for growers.BY: ASHLEY ROBINSONWITH MAJOR USES of clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid still available to Canadian potato growers, the industry is seeing Health Canadas Pest Management Regulatory Agencys (PMRA) latest decisions as favourable. I think it's a positive response. For the potato industry, obviously, there are some changes that will be happening with respect to potato uses. But being able to maintain seed treatment uses for both of those insecticides is very positive because they do remain as the mainstay for insect management, particularly for Colorado potato beetle, Tracy Shinners-Carnelley, vice president of research and quality at Peak of the Market and a member of the Canadian Horticultural Council's crop protection advisory group, says in a phone interview. Thiamethoxam saw its soil drench potatoThe seed treatment use for clothianidin has beenTracy Shinners-application cancelled and foliar applicationmaintained which is its main use for potato. TheCarnelley, vice number reduced to one per year. Clothianidinsin-furrow cancelation may affect growers though aspresident of research and in-furrow application was cancelled but its stillShinners-Carnelley has heard some still use it. Shequality at Peak allowed for a single foliar application per seasonhopes though they can transfer into using the seedof the Market at a 52.5 g a.i. Both have new or revised spraytreatment version instead. and a member of the Canadian buffer zones. Label updates for the new usageImidacloprids popularity has been decreasingHorticultural requirements must be made by two years after theover the years as it was the first neonic registeredCouncils crop decision date of March 31, 2021. in Canada. With the subsequent registrationsprotection advisory groupImidacloprids decision came later thanof thiamethoxam and clothianidin, the use of clothianidin and thiamethoxams. The decisionimidacloprid on potatoes has been significantly saw imidacloprids in-furrow application cancelled,reduced over the years, Shinners-Carnelley says.while foliar applications were reduced to one perThe decisions were reached following season. Spray buffer zones are also required toenvironmental risk assessments over the past mitigate risks. The updates to labels must be madefew years. The review process of these two by May 19, 2023. products, along with imidacloprid, all classified According to Shinners-Carnelley the reductionsas neonics, began in 2016. At the time the should be manageable. Its been a recommendationCanadian government proposed a phase-out of all in the industry for years that if you do use aagricultural uses of imidacloprid, as the insecticide neonicotinoid (neonic) seed treatment or in-furrowwas accumulating in ponds, creeks and other water application, you shouldnt be using it as a foliarbodies near agricultural land. Two years later the application.same phase-out recommendation was made for This is something that predominantly thethiamethoxam and clothianidin. The European industry used as a seed treatment. And fortunately,Union has previously banned neonic use.over the last number of years, we have had someThis is the positive step where we need to other foliar insecticides get registered in otherremain hopeful that as the subsequent decisions classes of chemistry, some non neonics that fitcome down on other special reviews, or in the well as part of an insect management strategy,re-evaluation, that we continue to maintain these Shinners-Carnelley explains. current uses on potato, Shinners-Carnelley says. 26SPUDSMART.COM Summer 2021"