by SUSAN MANN
Horticultural growers want more than twice as many approved crop protection products included in the federal government’s Grower Requested Own Use program as there are now.
Charles Stevens, chair of the crop protection section for the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, says currently there is a maximum of 30 approved products but they’d like the list to include 75 products.
Adding more approved products is one of the changes the association is encouraging the program’s administrators, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), to adopt. Another change is allowing a product to stay on the approved list for five years rather than the current time of two years.
The proposed changes are “good for our members,” Stevens says, noting the changes will make the program more accessible for horticultural farmers because there will be more products available. “This program isn’t just for horticulture, it’s for all of agriculture.”
As part of the program, growers can import and use the American version of Canadian-registered crop protection products if they’re available in the United States at a lower price than in Canada. A nomination committee with farmer input selects products to be included in the list and the PMRA evaluates all nominated products to determine if they’re eligible.
Once a product has been approved for import, growers must apply to be able to bring it into Canada. They can only use the product on their own land and for one growing season. Farmers who want a product for a subsequent growing season must reapply to import it. BF