Growers reminded about chemical residue limits for export pome fruit

Pink Lady exports

Growers who are exporting pome fruit need to be aware of maximum chemical limits for importing countries that may be lower than in Australia.

To ensure pome fruit producers and exporters can access international markets, Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL) is reminding growers that the maximum chemical residue limits for export fruit may be much lower than Australian limits.

“Export markets can have stricter limits on how much chemical residue is allowed,” says Ms Claire Fitchett, APAL’s Market Development Manager. “Growers should particularly be aware of their usage of clothianidin in pome fruit if they want to export because most international markets have limits that are significantly lower than here.”

Last year, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) approved the temporary use of clothianidin (sold as Samurai Systemic Insecticide™) in persimmons, apples, pears and stone fruit to control fruit fly. The temporary permit for clothianidin was allowed in recognition of the serious problem fruit flies present the industry.

APVMA subsequently increased the temporary Australian maximum residue limits of clothianidin allowable in Australia as follows (where T stands for ‘temporary’):

  • Pome fruit at T2 mg/kg
  • Stone fruit (except cherries) at T3 mg/kg
  • Cherries at T5 mg/kg
  • Persimmon (American & Japanese) at T2mg/kg

“Fruit flies can be a problem at any time during the season – even now in January – depending on the weather and local growing conditions,” says Mr Jesse Reader, APAL’s Technical Manager. “Growers should monitor the presence of fruit flies and implement Integrated Pest Management practices to try and reduce their impact.”

“If growers use clothianidin and follow the label directions and the temporary permit for its usage against fruit flies – including sticking to the withholding period – then they can expect to fall within Australia’s maximum residue limits,” he added.

However, the maximum residue limits for clothianidin acceptable by importing countries ranges from just 0.05 to 1 mg/kg, well below the Australian limit.

“Growers intending to export must pay close attention to the use of clothianidin as maximum residue levels for importing countries have not been increased,” Claire stressed.

“Moreover, exporters should ensure that laboratories testing their fruit for export can provide testing to the level of detail required by the importing country,” she added. “Don’t assume that laboratories that can test for the Australian standard have the ability to test for the lower levels.”

By |January 20th, 2014|Chemical use, Exporting|

About the Author:

APAL is an industry representative body and non-profit membership organisation that supports Australia’s commercial apple and pear growers.