Using pesticides in strawberry production – your responsibilities as a grower

Page last updated: Thursday, 19 February 2015 - 11:01am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Importance of labels

The pesticide label is a legal document and penalties can be applied if the pesticide is not used according to the directions on the label. This includes the rate of application, that is, how much you put in the tank, how often you apply it, how you apply it (what sort of spray equipment) and how soon you can harvest the crop after you have used that pesticide.

You can be fined for mis-use, and if many growers are not using a pesticide properly, it may be withdrawn and you will no longer be able to use it.

The withholding period (WHP) listed on the label states how soon after spraying you can pick the crop (not sell it).

If you pick the crop too soon (earlier than the end of the withholding period) it will have residues from the pesticide that are too high for people to eat that food safely. Many retailers including Coles and Woolworths, and government departments, test food at random for residues. If they are found to be too high, you can be prosecuted.

You can also be charged for the cost of recalling your product from the shop, so it can cost you a lot of money. If chemicals are found in your product that are from pesticides that are not registered for use on strawberries, this is illegal and you may also be prosecuted, with your product withdrawn from sale.

The Food Act 2008 and its subsidiary legislation The Food Regulations 2009, has three levels of offence: ‘knowingly’, ‘ought to know’ and ‘Strict liability’ where there is no excuse for not knowing the right thing to do. The penalties range from $40 000 to $100 000 and potential imprisonment for an individual grower, or $200 000 to $500 000 for a company.

When you buy a pesticide, you agree to the legal use of that pesticide as described on the label, and therefore higher penalties may be incurred.

A guide to the use of pesticides in Western Australia covering obligations when you use pesticides, can be downloaded from www.health.wa.gov.au/publications/subject_index/p/poisons.cfm.

Table 1 Insecticides and fungicides registered for use on strawberries as at 12 February 2015
Example of product name Active ingredient Pest or disease controlled Withholding period
(WHP)
Other conditions of use
Captan Captan Various fungal diseases 1 day No more than 5 sprays per season
Cropcare Captan (only)

Captan

Various fungal diseases 1 day No restriction on number of sprays per season but spraying more than every 14 days may violate residue limits
Copper Copper Various fungal diseases 1 day

Teldor Fenhexamid Grey mould None No more than 2 sprays in a row
Rovral Iprodione Grey mould 1 day No more than 2 sprays in a row
Systhane Myclobutanil Powdery mildew None No more than 2 sprays in a row
Fontelis Penthiopyrad Powdery mildew 1 day No more than 3 sprays per season, no more than 2 applications in a row
Switch

Cyprodinil/ Fludioxonil

Colletotrichum, grey mould 3 days May be used in the same season but no more than three applications of these chemicals in total per season
Scala Pyrimethanil Grey mould 1 day
Wettable sulphur Sulfur Powdery mildew None

Thiragranz Thiram Various fungal diseases 7 days

Barmac Thiram (only) Thiram Various fungal diseases 2 days

Flint Trifloxystrobin Powdery mildew 1 day No more than 3 sprays per season. Do not spray twice in a row
Zineb Zineb Various fungal diseases 7 days

Abamectin Abamectin Two-spotted mite 3 days

No more than 2 sprays per season

Lorsban Chlorpyrifos Crickets None (bran bait around plants only)

Torque Fenbutatin oxide Two-spotted mite 1 day

Lannate Methomyl Caterpillars 3 days for fresh fruit

10 days if fruit to be frozen

Gemstar Nuclear polyhedrosis virus of Helicoverpa zea Caterpillars None

Pirimor Pirimicarb Aphids 2 days

Success Neo Spinetoram Caterpillars, western flower thrips 1 day

Dipterex Trichlorfon Caterpillars 14 days

Kelthane/Masta-Mite Dicofol or dicofol/ tetradifon Two-spotted mite 7 days Not for use in IPM programs
Calibre Hexythiazox Two-spotted mite (eggs only 1 day One application per season only
Omite Propargite Two-spotted mite 3 days

Table 2 Minor use permits for strawberries as at 12 February 2015
Permit no. Active ingredient Trade name Problem Withholding period (WHP) Expiry date
PER12486 Trichlorfon Dipterex Fruit fly 14 days 31-May-16
PER12570 Bifenazate Acramite Two-spotted mite 1 day 30-Jun-17
PER12927 Spinetoram Success Neo Fruit fly (suppression only) 1 day 31-May-16
PER12940 Maldison Malathion Fruit fly 3 days 30-Jun-17
PER100147 Phosphorous acid Foli-R-Fos Phytophthora 6 weeks 31-Oct-17
PER13331 Pyriproxyfen Admiral Greenhouse & silverleaf whitefly 2 days 31-Oct-15
PER13542 Maldison Malathion Rutherglen bug 3 days 30-Jun-17
PER14192 Indoxacarb Avatar Garden, whitefringed weevil 2 days 30-Sep-18
PER13377 Emamectin Proclaim Caterpillars 3 days 30-Sep-15
PER14453 Chlorantraniliprole Coragen Caterpillars (Heliothis spp.) 1 day 31-May-17

Additional chemicals are registered or have minor use permits for use on runner crops only in some Australian States. No runner crops are grown in Western Australia. It is illegal to use these chemicals in Western Australia. This is for information only.

Table 3 Additional chemicals registered for use on runners only in other states, but not Western Australia
Not for use in Western Australia
Permit no. Active Trade name Problem Other conditions of use Expiry date
PER14577 Quinoxyfen Legend Powdery mildew Runner crops only 30-Sep-19

PER14483

Pyraclostrobin

Cabrio

Colletotrichum gloeosporioides

For use in tissue culture (TC) and foundation nurseries only

30-Sep-18

PER13120 Bitertanol Baycor Powdery mildew, blight, scorch Runner crops only 30-Nov-16
PER13697 Metalaxyl -M Ridomil Gold 480EC Crown rot (Phytophthora cactorum) in runner production only Runner crops only 30-Sep-17
PER12387 Cyprodinil / Fludioxonil Switch Colletotrichum crown or petiole rot  Runner crops only 31-Oct-1
PER13697 Phosphorous acid Phos acid Crown rot (Phytophthora cactorum) in

runner production only

Foliar spray only unless dipping bundles of runners 30-Sep-17

Nemacur Fenamiphos Nematodes Runner crops only

Octave Prochloraz Colletotrichum Runner crops only

Contact information

Chris Sharpe
+61 (0)8 9368 3815

Using pesticides in strawberry production – your responsibilities as a grower

Author

Aileen Reid