Plant Protection Product Registration and International Harmonization

Ms. Maggie Elliot, U.S. Hop Industry Plant Protection Committee, Yakima, Washinton

This joint subcommittee, representing the Oregon, Idaho and Washington hop commissions and Hop Growers of America, provides oversight and coordination of hop industry plant protection research and pesticide registration efforts. Ann George serves as administrator. The USHIPPC contracts with Bryant Christie Inc. for assistance with the International Harmonization project.

New registration successes have substantially enhanced the pest management toolbox for US hop growers in recent years. However, we still have several needs in our plant protection programs, many of which are for minor pests (those that do not affect all growing areas or high percentages of the acreage on an annual basis). Soil pests (root feeders) have been particularly difficult to find new methods for control. Limited numbers of registered products for all major pests and diseases -- spider mites, aphids, powdery and downy mildew – continues to make resistance management and product stewardship programs challenging to implement.

New products tend to be more selective than their historical counterparts, which results in the need for increased management input for acceptable season-long control. Timing of applications and treatment thresholds are more critical, and a limited number of allowable applications per season for most of these new products mean that several products may be needed to replace one tool that provided acceptable control in the past. We are still learning how to integrate many of these new tools in to a pest management program for hops.

Approximately 60 IR-4 or manufacturer directed residue studies have been undertaken since 1989...a phenomenal effort for any group of producers. The support of growers and users of hops has made this aggressive program possible, in addition to outside funding from several organizations. Hop Research Council has been a strong supporter of this program, providing funding for IR-4 residue studies and related projects since the program’s inception.

The USHIPPC also works to “level the playing field” with regards to pesticide regulatory issues, to facilitate international hop trade. Specific projects have included efforts to include pesticide tolerances for US hops in the Codex Alimentarius Commission, European Union, Japanese, and Canadian regulatory systems. We also maintain an Internet-based chemical residue database and harmonization chart. These references enable growers, exporters, importers and brewers to quickly identify the registration status of various chemicals in multiple countries.