New fungicide to protect potatoes, tomatoes and onions

A new fungicide to combat late blight in tomatoes and potato crops, and downy mildew in onions, has been approved for use in New Zealand, subject to conditions.

Xivana contains the active ingredient fluoxapiprolin, which is new to New Zealand. Alongside the European Union and Australia, New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is among the first regulators worldwide to consider an approval for this substance.

The applicant, Bayer New Zealand Ltd, wants to import Xivana as a concentrate to be applied using ground-based or aerial methods. Bayer says the fungicide would always be manufactured overseas and arrive in New Zealand as a finished, packaged product ready for sale to professional users.

“Bayer says late blight is the most economically destructive disease of potatoes and outdoor tomato crops in this country. As well, Onions New Zealand told us new options for controlling downy mildew are desperately needed,” says Dr Chris Hill, General Manager of the EPA’s hazardous substances group.

The EPA considers that the new active ingredient, fluoxapiprolin, represents a significant benefit, as it could provide an additional tool for growers that is less hazardous than most comparable fungicides currently available on the market.

“In granting approval for Xivana, strict rules have been set for its use. These include a maximum of three uses a year per crop, at a restricted amount. Use of Xivana is also restricted to professional users in commercial settings,” says Dr Hill.

The EPA is responsible for regulating chemicals and other dangerous goods and substances under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act.

“This means we make decisions on whether to approve new hazardous substances. We put rules (called controls) in place to manage the risks of hazardous substances and to safeguard people and the environment,” says Dr Hill.

Read more detail about the decision on Xivana

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

Some thoughts about Santa and updates from the EPA on agrichemicals

AgScience’s Christmas Eve roundup of science news led us to a seasonal item on the RNZ site, blending physics and  – dare we suggest it without causing offence or upset?  – belief systems.

The item was teasingly headed Santa:  How does he do it?

Our readers can  tune in to the the answer.

 Listen to Sci Fi / Sci Fact – Santa: How does he do it? duration25′ :16″

RNZ tells its audience: Continue reading

EPA extends its call for information on the use of glyphosate

Hard on the heels of news that recent surveys by scientists have found half or more of arable farms and vineyards in some regions have weeds resistant to commonly used herbicides, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has extended its call for information on the herbicide glyphosate by four weeks.

The new deadline to respond is now 5 pm on Friday 24 September.

General Manager of Hazardous Substances and New Organisms, Dr Chris Hill, says the EPA wants to hear from more professional users and those involved in the supply of glyphosate.

“While we have had a good response from the public, we want to make sure importers, retailers, professional users and industry groups have had enough time to collate information and provide meaningful data. We have already received one request from a major industry group for an extension. The more information we receive the better informed we’ll be to decide what next steps to take.

“So far, professional users, industry organisations and suppliers have made up just over 40 percent of total respondents; the rest are members of the public. We have received 136 responses since we opened the call for information at the end of April.” Continue reading

EPA is calling for information on glyphosate

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is calling for information on the use of the herbicide glyphosate in New Zealand.

This weed killer has been used by home gardeners, farmers, and councils in this country since the 1970s.

It is commonly known as the active ingredient in Roundup but 89 mixtures containing glyphosate are approved for use in this country.

The EPA is seeking information from industry and the general public about the manufacture, importation, and patterns of use of glyphosate in this country, as well as information on the availability of alternatives, and any impacts on Māori.

Dr Chris Hill, General Manager, Hazardous Substances and New Organisms, says; Continue reading