Reduced-Risk Strategy for Pest Management in Greenhouse Floriculture
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Pesticide Risk Reduction Program
Pest Management Centre, AAFC
Pesticide risk reduction strategies are developed under the Pesticide Risk Reduction Program (PRRP), a joint initiative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) of Health Canada. The key objective of the program is to reduce the risks to the environment and to human health from pesticide use in agriculture. To achieve this objective, the Program works with grower groups, industry, provinces, and researchers to identify gaps in pest management and opportunities for pesticide risk reduction, and to develop and implement strategies to address these.
A pesticide risk reduction strategy is a detailed plan developed through consultation with stakeholders aiming to address grower needs for reduced-risk management tools and practices for specific priority pest issues. The strategy document presented herein, is intended to update stakeholders on the activities supported by the Program in developing and implementing the strategy and new tools and practices made available through this process. The strategy also provides baseline information and enables tracking of advancements in pesticide risk reduction.
For more information on the activities and outcomes of the Program's strategy work to date, visit the Pest Management Centre website.
The Pesticide Risk Reduction Program acknowledges all participating stakeholders for their contribution and collaboration in the development and implementation of a reduced-risk strategy for greenhouse floriculture. In particular the program recognizes the contributions of the Greenhouse Floriculture Working group including: co-chair Cary Gates (Flowers Canada Growers), Garry Watson (Flowers Canada Growers), Dean Shoemaker (Flowers Canada Growers), Graeme Murphy (OMAFRA), Wayne Brown (OMAFRA), David Woodske (BCMAF), Regis Larouche (Quebec Institute for the Development of Ornamental Horticulture), Cynthia Scott-Dupree (University of Guelph), Deborah Henderson (Kwantlen College), Albert Grimm (Jeffery's Greenhouses), Michael Brownbridge (Vineland Research and Innovation Centre), Imme Gerke and Chi Tran (Health Canada - PMRA).
This document reports on the development of a pesticide risk reduction strategy for the greenhouse floriculture industry in Canada. The objective of this strategy is to reduce risks to human health and the environment associated with pesticide use in greenhouse floriculture production. The strategy document presented here summarizes the framework and activities supported by the Pesticide Risk Reduction Program in implementing the greenhouse floriculture strategy.
The preliminary work for the development of this strategy was conducted through an industry led project with funding provided by the Pesticide Risk Reduction Program. Flowers Canada Growers (the national organization representing the interests of floriculture growers), consulted with stakeholders across the country through face to face meetings, teleconferences and surveys. These consultations provided an important benchmark of current pest management issues and practices within the industry and identified opportunities for pesticide risk reduction in floriculture. After project completion, a floriculture expert working group was established to refine goals for risk reduction and move an action plan forward.
Greenhouse floriculture production is an important industry in Canada. In 2009 flowers and plants accounted for 48.9% of the greenhouse sector. In this same year there were 2,130 greenhouses in Canada specializing in floriculture, with a total of more than 8.8 M square meters dedicated to floriculture. The industry directly employed 23,405 people and generated $1.4 billion in sales (Greenhouse, Sod and Nursery Industries - 2009 Statistics Canada).
Pest management issues in the floriculture greenhouse environment are complicated as growers must balance an extremely diverse number of crops, each with their own pest issues. In addition, the greenhouse growing environment also presents unique regulatory issues. To be an economically competitive industry while contributing positively to sustainability, Canadian floriculture growers must be innovative in their approach to pest management. Access to more reduced risk products and development of new technologies as well as access to information on how to incorporate these and existing techniques into an integrated pest management approach are important to ensure the competitiveness of sector nationally and internationally.
Pest Management and Pesticide Risk Reduction Issues
Key pest management issues identified through stakeholder consultations led by the Flowers Canada Growers project team as areas of concern to be addressed by this strategy include:
Lack of pest control products
To ensure older chemistries meet modern health and environmental safety standards the national regulator, PMRA (Pest Management Regulatory Agency) officially launched the re-evaluation program in 2001. As a result of this process some products have been voluntarily discontinued by the registrant, some have had ornamental uses removed from the label and some active ingredients are being phased out of use, creating a need for more, lower risk products suitable for inclusion in an IPM program. Many of the current products registered for greenhouse floriculture uses are older chemistries, and results of the survey by Flowers Canada Growers indicated that some growers no longer feel these work well. More effective, lower risk products such as biopesticides and biological control tools using beneficial arthropods are needed to replace the lost uses and also to develop sound resistance management strategies.
Biological control is an important pest management alternative and an integral component of IPM for greenhouse growers. This approach is already well accepted by the industry with 90% of the surveyed growers indicating they use these methods to some degree in their operation. As more uses are lost through re-evaluation and pest resistance there is an opportunity for more biological control systems to be developed and implemented and to increase their overall use. This also leads to the need to determine biocompatibility of various products with beneficial arthropods and identify those which are most suitable for inclusion in an IPM system.
Lack of adequate pest management technologies
Pesticide application methods can significantly affect how much actual product is applied and the degree of plant coverage achieved in a greenhouse. More efficient methods of pesticide application are needed which can reduce the total amount of pesticide used, while providing a higher degree of targeted control. Some novel application techniques have been developed for other crops: however there is a gap in knowledge as to which techniques could be applicable for greenhouse floriculture. More information on how to incorporate existing application technologies into greenhouse floriculture IPM systems is needed.
Some new pest prevention technologies for greenhouse floriculture pests are currently under development. By preventing pests from establishing in the greenhouse the need for pesticides to control these pests later in the season can be reduced. Further work in this area is required to expand upon what is known and develop a suitable approach for a variety of pest species and their related hosts.
Insufficient communication and extension support
IPM strategies are often complicated and require a high level of commitment and know-how from the grower to be implemented. While much knowledge on reduced risk techniques in floriculture is available, this is not always transferred effectively or made easily accessible to the grower. According to survey results, growers make good use of what information is available; however, growers across the country have different access to extension personnel and technical support. Information needs to be consolidated, kept up-to-date/current and made accessible to all growers in Canada. In addition, more opportunities for face to face interactions with researchers, extension experts and other greenhouse floriculture growers could help to increase uptake of reduced risk techniques.
Expert Working Group
A national floriculture pesticide risk reduction working group was established by the Pesticide Risk Reduction Program in the fall of 2010. The working group includes growers and grower representatives, researchers, provincial extension experts and federal regulators. Through discussions the group refined the outline of the strategic goals and action plan and identified potential projects to reach these goals. These discussions also provide an important platform for collaboration opportunities among stakeholders. The group has held 4 meetings to date at which all the goals identified in the original strategy were discussed. By working across multiple levels in the private and public sector a collective outcome towards risk reduction that responds to economic, environmental and social needs of Canadians is expected.
Strategic Action Plan
The strategic goals and action plan for reduced risk pest management in greenhouse floriculture are based on the original report prepared by Flowers Canada Growers and were refined through discussions with the working group. The strategy provides a framework for activity by identifying goals, targets, milestones, and implementation projects to move the plan forward. The three goals of the floriculture strategic plan are: i) Improve access to new lower risk pest control products ii) Develop new reduced risk pest management tools, technologies and integrated systems and iii) Promote and facilitate adoption of reduced risk techniques.
In summary, the major outcomes expected from the implementation of the reduced-risk strategy for greenhouse floriculture include:
- New biological control approaches and improved access to more reduced risk products for the control of pests in greenhouse floriculture production
- New application and prevention technologies which allow for targeted and integrated control of greenhouse pests while reducing risk from pesticides
- Improved access to high quality IPM information by growers, making growers more knowledgeable about implementation of IPM in the Canadian floriculture greenhouse.
It is anticipated that in combination, these outcomes will help greenhouse floriculture growers reduce reliance on pesticides while remaining an economically competitive industry. At the same time, ongoing discussion among greenhouse floriculture stakeholders through this strategy work provides a platform for discussion and exchange on greenhouse pest management issues and solutions.
This report is a living document and will be updated periodically as new information becomes available.
|Strategy Goal||Target||Milestones||Status||Activities||Completion Date|
|Develop Strategic Framework||Identify key pest management issues and potential reducted risk solutions||Develop action plan and form working group to carry out strategy goals||Completed||PRR09-060 - Pesticide Risk Reduction Strategy Development for Floriculture in Canada
Through this project extensive consultations with growers and extension specialists were held across Canada to discuss and identify priority pest management issues and potential for pesticide risk reduction. A snapshot of current pest management and issues for the floriculture industry was captured and can be used as benchmark to track future progress. A working group was established in Fall 2010.
Improve access to new lower risk pest control products
Improve availability of biopesticides, biological control tools and other lower risk products
|Explore opportunities to include biocompatible products as part of IPM systems|
|Evaluate efficacy of new products that fit into integrated management programs||Terminated||BPI06-010 Efficacy trials to demonstrate the performance of Facin(TM) on ornamentals in greenhouses
This project was not completed due to registrant decisions
|Completed||BPI06-120 Essential oils formulations for the control of mites, insects, and diseases on greenhouse ornamental and vegetable crops
EcoTrol was shown to offer some protection against aphids and mites; however, registration was not pursued due to phytotoxicity and efficacy issues
|Completed||PRRP provided support to the ornamental team at the Minor Use and Risk Reduction Strategies Division at PMRA towards obtaining label expansion for sulphur to be used in sulphur vaporizors - Registrant submitted a registration package to the PMRA in September 2010||Sept. 2010|
|On-going||The Pest Management Centre (PMC) works closely with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, the biocontrol industry, grower representatives, and international experts, providing necessary regulatory support to facilitate the registration and the adoption of biological control products. Biopesticide priority selection workshops are held in March to facilitate stakeholder participation in identifying priority biopesticide uses to be supported by the Centre through regulatory support. All projects titled BPR were selected through this process.||Annual Meeting|
|On-going||Biopesticides Priority Setting Workshop - March 2011 - Suffoil-X- for control of thrips on greenhouse ornamentals was chosen as priority for regulatory support. Required activities are to be determined in 2011 and carried out beginning in 2012.||March 2013|
|On-going||BPR11-060 - Evaluation of Met52 (Metarhizium anisopliae strain F52) for the management of thrips in greenhouse ornamentals (Chrysanthemum spp) Through greenhouse trials efficacy and crop tolerance data will be developed in support of a regulatory submission for Met52 (Metarhizium anisopliae strain F52) for the control of thrips in greenhouse ornamentals (Chrysanthemum spp).||March 2012|
|Improve availability and accessibility of beneficial arthropods||Develop new knowledge on biocompatibility of conventional products currently registered for use in GH floriculture||MUR06-080 - Potential side-effects of fungicides on natural enemies and pollinators used in greenhouse vegetable production
This study examined the toxicity of reduced risk insecticides (imidacloprid, abamectin, metaflumizone, and chlorantraniliprole) and fungicides (myclobutanil, potassium bicarbonate, and cyprodinil + fludioxonil) used or with promise for use in Canadian greenhouse vegetable production to three species of arthropod biological control agents [Orius insidiosus Say, Amblyseius swirskii (Athias-Henriot), and Eretmocerus eremicus Rose & Zolnerowich] and bumble bees [Bombus impatiens (Cresson)]. It was found metaflumizone, chlorantraniliprole, myclobutanil, potassium bicarbonate, or cyprodinil + fludioxonil can be applied for greenhouse vegetable pest management with minimal harm to bumble bees and biological control agents.
|Develop new knowledge about beneficial arthropods and rearing capacities available locally, nationally and internationally|
|Facilitate accessibility and introduction of new, effective beneficial arthropods from local and non local sources|
|Goal 2. Develop new reduced risks pest management technologies and tools for integrated systems||Develop methods to mitigate pest introductions into the greenhouse||Investigate insect pest control methods in propagative stock||On-going||PRR11-040 - Literature review of current and potential techniques for control of pests on propagative stock.
This project set out to identify the next steps for the development of reduced risk techniques and tools for the control of key pests on ornamental cuttings.
|Improve pesticide application technologies||Investigate current pesticide application technologies and identify reduced risk methods|
|Develop accessible and practical tools for monitoring and identification||Develop illustrated field guides for simplified pest identification for growers, scouts and extension personnel|
|Goal 3. Promote and facilitate adoption of new reduced risk techniques and systems||Investigate multimedia means to transfer new knowledge and technology||Develop IPM in Floriculture Greenhouses - Centre of Excellence Website||On-going||PRR10-230 - Development of an Integrated Pest Management and Biocontrol Website for Greenhouse Grower Educational Purposes
This first of its kind website will provide growers with up to date, consolidated information regarding biological control in the greenhouse environment. This accessible format will fill an important knowledge gap in dissemination of available technology and lead to increased adoption of reduced risk practices.
|Investigate practical face-to-face means to facilitate information sharing sessions among growers||Host demonstration trials in commercial fields to increase adoption of reduced risk techniques|
|Host workshops and develop topical presentations to disseminate new information to growers||On-going||PRR11-020 - Dissemination of information on IPM techniques in Greenhouse Floriculture
This project will support two IPM focused workshops, one in Eastern/Central Canada, one in Western Canada. By attaching these workshops to well attended events it is hoped new, innovative techniques in IPM will be demonstrated to a large number of growers.
|Completed||PRR05-280 - Biocontrol and IPM workshop for greenhouse vegetable, floriculture and nursery growers in BC.
This event was held with Kwantlen University College to provide a forum for learning and exchange of new ideas. Post seminar survey results indicated a high likelihood of adoption of some of the presented techniques.