Dec 15 2015

Monthly Update - December 2015


Whitefly pest control issues

Whitefly, which has long been the number one pest issue for greenhouse tomato growers, proved to be a considerable problem for many indoor tomato growers during the 2014-15 season, and perusing  new control options has become a priority for TNZ.

Options for projects being considered include:

  • Investigating the feasibility of registration of new chemistry;
  • Investigating whitefly chemical resistance;
  • Updating the currently available advice for growers on whitefly control
  • Taking another look at potential Bio-control Agents
  • Reviewing alternative control measures (i.e. physical controls);
  • Conducting an economic analysis of the tomato sector and impacts of whitefly

Project plans will be developed of the next couple of months, with a view to seeking external funding to assist with their perusal. 


OPC changes to use

The Ministry for Primary Industries recently announced the results of their reassessment of the use of some organophosphates and Carbamates based on a dietary intake assessment. In summary for tomatoes:

Indoor tomatoes: 

  • Maldison can be used off label - as long MRL of 5mg/kg is adhered to. Maximum two applications per crop cycle, and subject to the EPA’s rules for controlled use.
  • Acephate and Methamidophos, which previously could be used, can no longer be used (label claims have been removed and they cannot be used off label).
  • Diazanon and Fenamiphos cannot be used.

Outdoor tomatoes:

  • Acephate can be used. Maximum three applications per crop, WHP 14 days, and MRL 1mg/kg (effective July 2016).
  • Diazanon can be used. Maximum two applications per crop cycle. WHP 14 days, MRL 0.2mg/kg
  • Fenamiphos cannot be used
  • Maldison can be used off-label. Maximum two applications per crop cycle. MRL 5mg/kg (MRL to be reviewed in late 2016)
  • Methamidophos can be used, maximum application rate of 900 gai/ha.  MRL 0.1mg/kg from July 2016. Off label use prohibited.

The above restrictions on use are effective immediately (though the new MRL’s are effective from July 2016). Note that EPA controls must also be adhered to when using these chemicals; fact sheets are available on the /worksafe website.  Please see pages 14-15 of the December 2015 Grower magazine for a full list of the restrictions and website links for more information.


Website Updates

Keep an eye on the website – the content is being updated and added to.

The “News” page now contains monthly updates, plus any stories of interest and TomatoesNZ media releases.

A “membership” page has been added under the “about” tab, with links to information about paying the levy and how to become a member of TomatoesNZ, and there is a form to join the new Incorporated Society (TomatoesNZ Inc.)

Under the “industry” tab, a page with access to industry statistics has been added – including import and export figures.

The “Hot Topics” sections have been updated, with information about Import Labelling, incorporation of TNZ, Government Industry Agreements, and Tomato/Potato Psyllid.

Improvements are continuing, with the next phase for development being the online member research reports section.


Import figures

Australian import volumes for the 2015 importing season were up slightly on 2014, with 379,400 Kg’s imported from June to September, with an average imported price of $2.44Kg (CIF), compared to 370,680kgs at $3.01Kg in 2014. There were no imports this October.


Direct levy payments

Horticulture New Zealand would usually have sent you a Direct Levy Declaration Form to direct levy payers for the 2014-15 levy year in October.

However, Horticulture New Zealand is currently undertaking a software development project to streamline the direct levy collection process, which has resulted in a delay to the request for direct levy. 

We expect that the direct levy payment request will be sent to growers in December or early January, with payments due (as in previous years) on the 31st of January 2016.

Wishing you all a safe and happy Christmas and New Year!

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