Resistance management safeguarding agriculture

Matthew Cossey*

The fourth agricultural revolution is dawning rapidly. It promises transformative change driven by AI and automation, data analytics, innovative seed varieties and next generation crop protection products. These advancements hold the key to enhancing agricultural productivity, sustainability and resilience in the face of major challenges and threats to farming.

The benefits of these to agriculture will only be fully realised if farmers’ access to the agricultural chemical products that are so crucial to farm productivity, viability and sustainability is maintained.

Achieving this requires continued investment and innovation from the plant science industry and unwavering commitment from our parliamentary and policy leaders to base decisions on robust, sound scientific evidence. It also requires an ongoing commitment to safe and responsible use of pesticides by those working on-ground.

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.

By remaining up to date with the latest resistance management strategies, pesticide users can optimise product efficacy through rotation or admixture of pesticides with different modes of action. This practice prevents continuous exposure of pests to a single pesticide class, reducing the likelihood of resistance development and protects the long-term viability of these crucial products for everyone.

CropLife Australia’s StewardshipFirst suite of resources and programs like SprayBest and MyAgCHEMuse are designed to further support product stewardship for farmers, spray contractors, and environmental land managers, ensuring the responsible and effective use of crop protection products.

This investment by the plant science industry ensures the latest advice for responsible, ethical and sustainable management of industry products is freely available. However, the responsibility for product stewardship extends across the entire value chain.

Retailers and agronomists play a vital role in advocating and reinforcing best practices, and end users must continue to review their pest management plans annually against updated strategies and follow product labels.

Australian agriculture should be proud of its well-earned global reputation for high quality produce and stewardship standards.

As an industry, we must continue to uphold these high standards. In doing so, we can ensure the longevity and prosperity of Australian agriculture in feeding not only our nation but a global population.

The 2023-24 Resistance Management Strategies can be accessed and downloaded from CropLife’s StewardshipFirst website:

Rural Business is CropLife’s official media partner.

*Matthew Cossey is CEO CropLife Australia.

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