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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Research Project #420402

Research Project: Minor Use Pesticide Testing on Vegetables and Sugar Crops

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Conduct laboratory and field tests to provide residue data to establish a tolerance on a specific commodity or to support a crop group tolerance. [NP 304, C2, and PS 2B].

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Research to suppport registrations of minor use pesticides. Apply peticicdes according to IR-4 protocol guidelines. Obtain performance data, phytotoxicity, yield and efficacy from treated and untreated field plots. Ship samples to laboratories for residue analyses. Protocols will be employed using appropriate Standard Operating Procedures and conducted under provisions outlined in 40CFR part 160 in accordances with EPA's Laboratory Practice Standards.

3. Progress Report
Interregional Research Project #4 (IR-4) field trials are being conducted on 25 projects according to an approved protocol developed by IR-4 Project Headquarters. Following local good agricultural practices, field testing is in progress on various cool season vegetables, herbs, strawberries, wine grapes and prickly pear cactus crops. A variety of pesticides are being evaluated on these crops including various herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. The IR-4 plots are sprayed as scheduled with various test substances using small plot sprayers that simulate commercial application equipment. Plants are frequently monitored for phytotoxicity from these treatments. At harvest time, crop samples are collected and frozen samples properly stored until shipment to a designated laboratory for residue analysis. A new fungicide, DPX-QGU42, is being field tested on head lettuce and green onions for control of downy mildew. On lettuce, downy mildew is a major disease and can be devastating to the crop. On green onions, this disease can be highly destructive, causing losses in both yield and bulb quality. DPX-QGU42 fungicide has a unique chemistry and should fit well into Integrated Pest Management systems for both lettuce and onions. Four field trials on prickly pear cactus are planned for the control of cowpea aphids, which transmits an Umbravirus that causes a serious stunting problem on cactus. The insecticide Movento, BYI 02960, will be sprayed on the plants and both the tunas and nopales will be sampled. Currently the only registered insecticide for use on prickly pear cactus is Sevin. The Salinas field site will conduct yearly approximately 30 to 40 field residue trials on minor use crops over the next three years. The facility will provide treated and untreated samples to the laboratories for residue analysis, while continuing to produce quality scientific data in order to meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Good Laboratory Practice requirements for the IR-4 program. The same milestones will be utilized over the three year period.

4. Accomplishments
1. Minor crop pesticide residue tests. The mission of the IR-4 Project is to facilitate registration of sustainable pest management technology for specialty crops and minor uses. IR-4 serves as an intermediary between the agri-chemical industry and specialty crop growers. Due to the inherently small specialty crop market and cost prohibitive regulatory requirements, companies shy away from investing in the development of products for low acreage specialty crops. ARS researchers in Salinas, CA continue to assist specialty crop growers by participating in IR-4 sponsored field research projects. Growers benefit by having effective pest management tools that enable them to produce high quality food crops. In addition, the general public benefits as well by having ample food available that provides essential nutritients for a balanced diet at reasonable prices.