ONTARIO HORTICULTURAL CROPS RESEARCH AND SERVICES / COMMITTEE / 2006 REPORT / TO / Ontario Agricultural Services Co-ordinating Committee December, 2006
Pesticide Issues: Use of Alternative Products
The University of Guelph and the Guelph Turfgrass Institute are addressing the need for research into alternative
products to pesticides (e.g. non-chemical and low risk replacement pesticides). The research trials for these
alternative products are more difficult to design and carry out, given they are part of a systems approach to the
integrated management of a particular pest. The industry is concerned about the illegal use of alternatives products
(i.e. those without PCP numbers) and off label recommendations from municipalities for homeowners (e.g. acetic
acid, hot water, horticultural soaps, etc.). This problem has also been discussed at the Healthy Lawns Working
Group and PMRA is putting together factsheet on this topic.
Pesticide use on turf continued to be an issue in Ontario in 2006. To date there are seventeen municipalities in
Ontario which have enacted pesticide by-laws but not all are in effect. The municipalities are: Toronto; Caledon;
Archipelago; North Bay; Cobalt; Thorold; Peterborough; Perth; Windsor; Waterloo; Georgian Bay; Cobourg;
London; Newmarket; Orangeville; Georgina and Gananoque. Within these municipalities with pesticide by-laws
there are off label recommendations being made for control of turf insects with products such as Endal and neem.
There are also many home remedy recommendations that have not been tested for efficacy or for toxicity to humans.
Pesticide Issues: Access to Effective, Low Risk Products
Many of the older formulation pesticides are the backbone of chemical pest management for nursery and turf
producers/maintenance professionals. PMRA’s re-evaluation and manufacturers voluntary discontinuations are
leaving the industry with gaps in pest management. Old formulations are being replaced by new ones and often,
ornamental uses have been lost due to lack of “bridging data”. Companies who produce biopesticides often
complain that they are too small to meet the requirements to register their product in Canada. The turf industry is
concerned about the over-reliance on Sevin T&O as the only curative insecticide in the near future. Increasing
requirements for occupational health and exposure data by PMRA are also bogging down label expansion requests.
Chemical registrants have reported lack of industry data on ornamentals with which to make business decisions
regarding new product uses. The industry needs to develop more data regarding plant groups (e.g. deciduous trees,
value, acreage and pests).
Pesticide Issues: Integrated Pest Management
With the industry focusing on IPM as the solution to pesticide bans, it is becoming apparent that there are
information gaps on pest biology, monitoring and detection techniques and thresholds. The registration of low risk,
IPM friendly pesticides is also crucial to the adoption of IPM in maintenance and plant production. The increasing
number of municipal pesticide bans is proof that the activists are not accepting IPM accreditation. In many cases
for landscape plants, a lack of pest population/pest damage action thresholds is preventing the acceptance of IPM as
an alternative to pesticide bans. Research is needed to verify the action thresholds in the literature for pests on turf
in Ontario. Action thresholds need to be established for outdoor ornamentals.
Despite the loss of older formulation pesticides (e.g. organophosphates) and possibility of municipal pesticide bans,
landscape/turf maintenance and nursery growers are still expected to produce high quality plants with reduced pest