New fungicide to protect potatoes, tomatoes and onions

A new fungicide to combat late blight in tomatoes and potato crops, and downy mildew in onions, has been approved for use in New Zealand, subject to conditions.

Xivana contains the active ingredient fluoxapiprolin, which is new to New Zealand. Alongside the European Union and Australia, New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is among the first regulators worldwide to consider an approval for this substance.

The applicant, Bayer New Zealand Ltd, wants to import Xivana as a concentrate to be applied using ground-based or aerial methods. Bayer says the fungicide would always be manufactured overseas and arrive in New Zealand as a finished, packaged product ready for sale to professional users.

“Bayer says late blight is the most economically destructive disease of potatoes and outdoor tomato crops in this country. As well, Onions New Zealand told us new options for controlling downy mildew are desperately needed,” says Dr Chris Hill, General Manager of the EPA’s hazardous substances group.

The EPA considers that the new active ingredient, fluoxapiprolin, represents a significant benefit, as it could provide an additional tool for growers that is less hazardous than most comparable fungicides currently available on the market.

“In granting approval for Xivana, strict rules have been set for its use. These include a maximum of three uses a year per crop, at a restricted amount. Use of Xivana is also restricted to professional users in commercial settings,” says Dr Hill.

The EPA is responsible for regulating chemicals and other dangerous goods and substances under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act.

“This means we make decisions on whether to approve new hazardous substances. We put rules (called controls) in place to manage the risks of hazardous substances and to safeguard people and the environment,” says Dr Hill.

Read more detail about the decision on Xivana

Source: Environmental Protection Authority

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog