Public submissions have opened on an application to manufacture a fungicide in New Zealand for use in the control of a disease which affects wheat.
Dow AgroSciences (NZ) Ltd is seeking approval to manufacture GF-3308, for control of speckled leaf blotch (Septoria tritici) and to suppress brown leaf rust (Puccinia triticina).
The applicant proposes that GF-3308 would be applied by ground-based and aerial broadcast spray methods.
The EPA’s General Manager of Hazardous Substances and New Organisms, Dr Fiona Thomson-Carter says the active ingredient in GF-3308 – fenpicoxamid – is a new active ingredient in New Zealand.
It is approved in the European Union, as well as Guatemala, Panama, and Ecuador.
The applicant, Dow AgroSciences, says GF-3308 would help to reduce the significant financial impact the fungal disease Septoria tritici has on wheat growers. It says there are reports of resistance in Septoria triticito existing fungicides, in New Zealand and other wheat-producing countries, and this product would provide an additional tool for resistance management.
Dow also notes that GF-3308 is highly toxic in aquatic environments, however it considers that standard control measures used by the EPA to mitigate any risks from spray drift – such as specifying spray droplet size and buffer zones – could be considered for GF-3308.
This application is being publicly notified to enable the public to comment and to put all relevant information before the decision makers.
Public submissions close at 5pm on May 9.
Source: Environmental Protection Authority