The olive industry’s chemical program will benefit from fast-tracked data generation for managing apple weevil, thanks to the latest round of funding through the Australian Government’s agriculture and veterinary (Agvet) chemicals grants program.

Hort Innovation, in collaboration with industry bodies and chemical companies, has successfully secured more than $1 million in assistance grants for the horticulture industry out of the $1.78 million available across all agricultural and livestock Rural Research and Development Corporations for the 2017/18 financial year.

This positive outcome will see 16 chemical data generation projects funded across the horticultural sector, including projects for phytophthora in the chestnut industry, leaf blight in the sweet corn industry and botrytis in the strawberry industry.

For the olive industry, the funding will support trials to determine efficacy, residue and crop safety for one chemical, Bayer Coded DC-163 Label registration for apple weevil (curculio beetle).

This research is needed before the new labels can be registered for use in the industry, to satisfy the requirements of registrant companies and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

Pesticide companies submit use patterns for registration to the APVMA and the olive industry is generally provided with limited registrations because of its minor crop status. To overcome this barrier, olive growers have access to minor use permits, providing access to approved chemicals for specific uses.

To obtain these minor use permits, the Hort Innovation Olive Fund project Olive industry minor use program (OL16000) invests levy funds and Australian Government contributions to support the submission of applications and renewals for minor use permits with the APVMA. This work is complemented by research into new chemical controls for pests and diseases.

The Australian Government has committed $8 million over four years from 2014-15 to 2017-18 to help producers gain improved access to Agvet chemicals through the grants program.

To see a complete list of the 2017/18 Agvet grants please follow this link.

All current minor use permits for the industry, and the conditions of their use, are searchable at portal.apvma.gov.au/permits.

Permit updates are also circulated in Hort Innovation’s e-newsletter, Growing Innovation, which levy-paying members receive monthly. Not a member? Sign up for free via this link.