Project 1.5.1

Collecting and disseminating information on agrochemicals

Project summary

This project provides accurate and timely information on regulatory and technical aspects of agrochemicals registered for use in Australian viticulture. It also provides information on the maximum residue limit (MRL) requirements of those chemicals in export markets. Lack of compliance with legislation and international trade requirements has the potential to present major barriers to trade. The resolution of trade issues will also be assisted through the collection and supply of data by this project.

The AWRI will continue to produce a list of Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) -registered agrochemicals (insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and plant growth regulators) for viticulture, with recommended withholding periods for grapes intended for wines which will be exported, in order to meet the most stringent international MRLs. Additional details about the ‘actives’ in agrochemical products will be sourced and captured in AWRI databases. Information will be made available to the Australian wine industry in hard copy, searchable online format, and via a smart phone app, and the content and delivery of those services will be enhanced.

A good working relationship will be maintained with chemical manufacturers and suppliers, and tools will be developed with these groups to facilitate the collection of information about agrochemical products.

Access to spray diary information from GrapeLink and GrapeWeb will enable the evaluation of product use and application practices, and will inform the prioritisation of discussions with industry and regulatory bodies. Those data, combined with data from the Entwine program, will be used to identify targeted training opportunities. The project will engage with regional associations and other stakeholders, to gain insights into the effectiveness of spray programs.

Latest information

The project team reviewed 192 Sanitary and Phytosanitary notifications from the World Trade Organization and 24 gazettes issued by the APVMA. The outcomes of these reviews included changes to MRLs for markets including Japan, the European Union and the USA. The APVMA gazettes highlighted issues including the registration of new active constituents such as pydiflumetofen, a broad spectrum fungicide.

Each year, post-harvest, the project team reviews the latest information on agrochemicals by liaising with regulators, chemical manufacturers, suppliers and end-users. Best practice recommendations are then incorporated into a new version of the publication Agrochemicals registered for use in Australian viticulture (commonly known as the ‘Dog book’). More than 8,500 copies of the 2018/2019 ‘Dog book’ were produced and distributed in June 2018. Updates were made to the online search portal and the smart phone agrochemical app, and an electronic version of the ‘Dog book’ was made available through the AWRI website. One significant change this year was the inclusion of a ‘Key changes to this edition’ page which provides a summary of changes made since the previous edition. In addition, the ‘Dog book’ now includes a general recommendation for the use of herbicides, to restrict these sprays in the 30 days to harvest. A modification was also made to the way registered products are shown where the recommendation is that growers should contact their grape purchaser prior to use or not use these products if their fruit is uncontracted.

Three new active constituents were registered for wine-grape production: abamectin in combination with chlorantraniliprole; Bacillus amyloliquefaciens; and pydiflumetofen. Wine sensory and residue data were reviewed to assess the suitability of these constituents for use in wine production and establish withholding periods for export wine. In addition, new information was assessed to determine withholding periods for the active constituents fenpyrazamine and dimethomorph when they are used once per season. Four eBulletins were issued during the year, including a notification in December 2017 that iprodione was no longer recommended for use on grapes destined for export wine, and advice about the risk and reporting of spray drift in March 2018.