Latest pesticide resistance management advice supports climate-smart pest management

Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia, the national peak industry organisation for the plant science sector, Mr Matthew Cossey, said, “Climate change will be one of the biggest challenges to agricultural pest management and production over the coming decades. Changing temperatures and weather patterns are bringing increases in crop pests, including insects, weeds and diseases, that will continue to be major threats to the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Australia’s farming sector and human food security.

“Modern and data-based resistance management strategies that deal with the changing status of pests are crucial to ensuring the longevity and viability of agricultural chemical products. CropLife’s Resistance Management Strategies are reviewed and updated on an annual basis by the expert scientific technical review committees, in consultation with relevant national and international experts.

“Importantly, the resistance management strategies do not replace product labels, they simply supplement them. Crop protection products must be handled and applied as specified on the registered product label or approved permit.

“This year’s update of CropLife Australia’s Resistance Management Strategies includes the globally consistent herbicide mode of action (MoA) classifications adopted last year. The classifications capture new active constituents and ensures the Australian MoA classification system is future proofed and remains globally relevant for farmers and agronomists.

Mr Cossey continued, “The global classification system is based on numerical codes which provides infinite capacity to accommodate new herbicide modes of action coming to market. In Australia, we’ve been using letters – however the shift to numerical codes since last year’s release has been overwhelmingly supportive.

“The challenges that climate change brings to integrated pest management is just one example of how increasingly global farming is becoming, but at the same time local and geographically specific advice and information is essential to ensure best outcomes. CropLife’s member companies continue to invest billions of dollars into the research and development of new, effective and innovative agricultural chemical products each year, allowing farmers to access economically viable and environmentally sustainable crop protection solutions.

“This investment also ensures the latest advice for responsible, ethical and sustainable management of industry products is freely available. It’s vital that those who sell these products and agronomists who advise on their use encourage customers to review their pest management plans annually against these updated strategies.

“Having an up-to-date and effective resistance management strategy alongside an integrated pest management system is crucial to the long-term viability and profitability of Australian farming. I strongly encourage all farmers, spray applicators, agronomists and environmental land managers to use these strategies to prevent resistance to crop protection products and maintain their viability as effective farming tools long into the future,” Mr Cossey concluded.  

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