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Thursday, February 21, 2013

What insecticides are acceptable where?

Over the last few days, I have received several questions about spotted wing drosophila (SWD) management.  The most common question from growers, agents, and others has been: What insecticides are acceptable for use on fruit that will be exported to other countries?  A significant amount of the blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries grown in North Carolina are marketed by companies that sell world wide. A lower percentage of the strawberries grown in the states are sold outside NC, but some growers also work with large marketers to sell their strawberries who may sell fruit outside the US.

While we know what insecticides are acceptable for use crops grow in the US (if it's labeled on the crop, it's acceptable for use here), not all the options available for US growers are acceptable for use on products that will be exported.  Pesticide residue tolerances (or maximum residue levels, MRLs) must be established in receiving countries for a material to be acceptable for export to that country.  One tool I use frequently to determine if pesticide residue tolerances have been established in other countries is the MRLDatabase, developed by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).  This large database allows you to search by crops, pesticides, and countries in lots of combinations.  Just like any pesticide use information, material presented in this database is subject to change.  Therefore, I always recommend that growers speak with their marketer before using a new management tool to ensure that it is acceptable for the markets their fruit may be sent.

More information
MRL Database - USDA FAS

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