Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Pesticide Registrations for Speciality Crops in the U.S.

Dudley Smith, Texas A&M University - Soil & Crop Sciences, Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences, Texas A&M Univ.342 Heep Ctr., College Station, TX 77843-2474 and Juan R. Anciso, Texas Cooperative Extension, Weslaco, TX 78596.

Major U.S. crops, such as wheat, corn, cotton, peanut, and soybeans, provide ample economic incentives for pesticide development in the U.S. However, far fewer pesticides are registered for small-acreage crops, such as millets, peas, pop corn, or sugar beets, due to high regulatory costs and market risks. Although numerous weed, insect, and disease pests attack speciality agronomic and horticultural crops, these crops provide 40% or more of all crop revenues in 58% of the states in the U.S. The IR-4 program provides mechanisms for pesticide clearances for minor crops through partnerships with US EPA, land grant universities, USDA/ARS, pesticide registrants, and grower organizations. Pesticide Clearance Requests are first prepared by grower groups, land grant personnel, or others, and are submitted to the IR-4 headquarters office. Annual priorities are established, GLP protocols are developed and field residue samples are obtained. Once residue data are generated, IR-4 prepares petitions to expand labels of new and existing pesticides. For greater efficiency, US EPA and IR-4 have organized 800 crops into 20 Crop Groups, based on botanical similarities and edible plant parts, to enhance the minor crop registration process. Representative crops are designated within each Group and act as surrogates for extending a label to other crops in the Group. For example, carrot and potato serve as representatives for Group 1 (Root and Tuber Crops) so tolerance data can be extended to other crops, such as table beets and 32 other crops. Crop Groupings provide for more efficient registrations, benefitting growers and consumers. Since 1963, more than 7,300 tolerances have resulted from IR-4 work, representing 42% of all tolerances granted by EPA. In contrast, since Crop Groupings are not practiced in the European Union, far fewer pesticides are available for growers.

Handout (.pdf format, 107.0 kb)