Nursery industry urged to outline pest priorities

The nursery industry is inviting growers to provide their feedback on plant pest priorities through an online survey to help fast-track safe and effective chemical registration for Australian nursery production.

Nursery & Garden Industry Austalia (NGIA), in partnership with Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation), is conducting the survey to understand which pests are most affecting production, and determine how gaps in the supply of chemicals can affect growers.

NGIA National Biosecurity Manager, John McDonald, said it often takes 10 to 20 years for new chemicals to be introduced into Australia after approval and registration in Europe and the USA.

“Access to modern, safe and effective chemistry is critical to nursery production, particularly with a growing number of pests developing a resistance to commercially available products,” Mr McDonald said.

“Unfortunately, the case for commercial investment in new chemistry doesn’t always weigh in Australia’s favour, due to our relatively small market size and tight regulatory environment.

“We expect the survey will give us a clear picture on the priority plant pests, and allow us to use that data to determine which products are most critical for growers from across the different growing regions in Australia.

“The end result will provide much-needed information to help inform our discussions with other industries, peak bodies and chemical manufacturers so as to allow greater co-investment on priority chemical registrations.

“I encourage all growers to head online and have their say on which areas are most critical for their business. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and will close on Thursday, 2 March 2017.”

To complete the survey, please visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NurserySARP

The survey results will inform the development of the nursery production 2017 Strategic Agrichemical Review Process (SARP).

Funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the industry levy and funds from the Australian Government, the SARP is designed to provide sound advice on future pesticide usage that can be pursued for registration with manufacturers, or minor use permits with the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).