Approved Products for the Mushroom Industry Ė 2003
Mrs Mairead Kilpatrick1, Mr John Murray1 & Mr Cathal Ellis2, 1Northern Ireland Horticultural and Plant Breeding Station, Loughgall 2 Technology and Business - Crops & Horticulture Division, SDG, Greenmount College, Antrim
Introduction Generally speaking, using chemicals should be the last line of defence in controlling pests or diseases that arise in a mushroom crop. With increasing emphasis on Quality Assurance, good crop management practice and hygiene should always be the primary control measure. PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE. It is also cheaper and better for the environment.
To Prevent Development
Use disease free materials - adequately peak-heated compost; clean casing.
Take proper hygiene measures at compost layout and during casing.
Don't top up bags with compost.
Correctly, control the environment to allow optimum mycelial growth.
Prevent compost overheating during spawn and case run.
Maintain good hygiene within the vicinity of the farm.
Follow correct disposal procedures for spent mushroom compost and other waste.
To Prevent Spread
Ensured doors & ventilation units are well sealed and use proper tunnel air filtration.
Disinfect equipment, footwear i.e. use footdips
All staff must wear clean clothing and footwear.
Staff should be trained how to both identify and prevent the spread of pests and diseases.
Monitor each house for pests and diseases daily and act immediately when they are noticed.
Control insects that may assist the spread of other diseases.
Follow a logical sequence of work, clean to dirty.
Ensure adequate end of crop sterilisation e.g. steam sterilisation.
General Control Measures
At the FIRST sign of any pest or disease ACT IMMEDIATELY. Delayed action will allow the pest or inoculum levels to increase and make control all the more difficult.
(i) If appropriate, cover the affected area and surrounding casing with damp tissue paper followed by dry, household salt. DONíT spot treat infected areas with mist sprayers as this only helps to spread disease spores within the tunnel.
(ii) Cover any diseased bags and remove from the unit.
(iii) Inspect the crop daily prior to picking and mark the diseased bags with straws. These should be treated and picked last.
(iv) If the outbreak is extensive, alter the house picking schedules on the unit to pick the infected crop last, irrespective of the crop stage.
(v) Remove all crop waste from the unit immediately, including mushroom stalks/caps, extra casing material, packaging materials etc.
Pest and Disease Identification and Lifecycles Correct identification and a good understanding of how specific pests and diseases occur, spread and develop are necessary to enable effective control.
The presence of a pest or disease in a crop does not automatically justify chemical action be taken against it. It is important to consider whether the potential economic loss of the crop is outweighed by the cost of applying the control product. Similarly, knowledge of each chemical and its mode of action is also essential.
For example, insecticides effective against sciarids may have no effect on a misidentified phorid population. Equally, there is little point using chemical fogs to control adult flies if the pest is still at the larval stage.
DARD offers regular Pest and Disease Courses - consult your Business Development Advisor to book a place - Accurate information will save you money in the long run.
Have you considered Integrated Crop Management (ICM)?
Unnecessary use of pesticides can involve risks to the health of humans, both as users and consumers, other creatures (including beneficial insects), plants and the environment.
It can also be uneconomic, cause crop damage, yield reduction and increase the possibility of pesticide resistance. Current constraints associated with the use of chemical products and increasing consumer demand for reduced chemical inputs necessitate the development of control programmes that, while not eliminating chemical application, will maximise its effects in combination with cultural practices.
The protected, controlled environment associated with mushroom cultivation provides suitable conditions for rapid increases in pest populations. However, the controlled environment also provides the potential to integrate control measures with other cultural practices to provide more effective and sustainable pest and disease control.
It is possible for growers to achieve optimal pest and disease control with rational insecticide use, provided you integrate cultural practices, environmental factors and biological controls. A full understanding of the biology of the pests and the nature of the damage caused is essential for effective integrated pest management.
If hygiene measures fail and after considering the alternatives, it is concluded that the use of an appropriate chemical is necessary, only products approved for mushrooms may be applied.
Before application, all growers should have completed COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) & RISK assessments for any work liable to expose employees to hazardous solids, liquids, dusts, gases or other substances.
In preparing the assessments all work should be examined, possible risks to health evaluated and appropriate action to remove/reduce the risks documented. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - gloves, face shields, spray suits etc. must be available and used as necessary.
Incorrect chemical application accounts for a large number of problems experienced in disease control. Routinely applying chemicals in the absence of disease is a particularly dangerous practice. It may eventually lead to a build up of isolates which are either insensitive to the chemicals or exhibit true resistance. Growers should always apply the recommended rate of any given chemical. Alternating approved chemicals where possible is also sensible practice. Never use a chemical unless you know why you are using it.
Methods of chemical application also need to be checked regularly as poor disease control is often the result of inaccurate chemical application.
Is the correct volume of water being added to the spray tank?
Is the chemical properly mixed or does some stay at the bottom of the tank?
Is the entire chemical applied to the bed surface?
How much is sprayed onto the walls, floors and bag sides?
Is chemical distribution uniform?
To answer these and other questions, courses are available to allow participants to undertake the National Proficiency Tests Council (NPTC) training/tests:
PA1 Safe Use of Pesticides, Environmental factors and legislation PA6 (d) Hand held applicators requiring minimal calibration.
Remember that careful attention must always be paid to the legal use, purchase and storage of chemicals with training now an essential prerequisite for the major marketing companies. To a greater or lesser extent, all chemicals used in mushroom growing are toxic. However, if handled responsibly with the necessary safety measures, their use need not constitute any risk.
APPROVED PRODUCTS FOR THE MUSHROOM INDUSTRY 20031
Product Type* MAPP No2003 Active Ingredient Approved for Marketing Company (Approval Holder if different) Expiry date2(a) 1st (b) 2nd stage
Nemysys M B(I) NA S. feltiae Sciarid flies Micro Bio
SCIA-RID B(I) NA Steinernema sp. Sciarid flies Koppert
Sodium hypochlorite M NA Sodium Hypochlorite Bacterial Blotch, Bactericide Various
Formaldehyde M NA Formaldehyde 38-40% Spray/Fumigant in mushroom tunnels (Poison Rules apply) Various
Ficam W M(I) NA Bendiocarb Insecticidal spray in empty tunnels Amycel
*TYPE: F = Fungicide, I = Insecticide, B = Biological, M = Miscellaneous
1. References: The UK Pesticide Guide 2003, The Pesticides Safety Directorate (www.pesticides.gov.uk)Pesticides and monthly Issues of Pesticide Monitor for updated approvals. Check The UK Pesticide Guide for specific approved products and companies, i.e. Only Dimilin Flo manufactured by Uniroyal Chemical Ltd is approved for mushrooms.
2. Expiry dates (a & b) are given for products under phased revocation. In line with latest European Commission thinking the Pesticides Safety Directorate will be reducing the standard wind-down period for all phased revocations from 1st April 2003, as follows.
(a) The current one year period for advertisement, sale, supply and use of superseded stock by the approval holders and their agents will be shortened to a maximum of six months.
(b) The further two year period for persons other than the approval holder and their agents to continue marketing and using superseded stock will be reduced to a maximum of 12 months (i.e. allowing 18 months in total for stocks to pass through the supply chain). Storage by any person will be permitted for the entire period. Shorter periods will still be applied if necessary
3. From this list of approved products for use on mushrooms, supermarkets and marketing companies may further specify a shortened list of products according to individual Assured Produce Schemes. All growers must comply with their own specific marketing company requirements with details available from technical advisers, seminars etc.
4. While every effort has been made to ensure information is correct at time of going to press, no liability is accepted for any error or omission in the content. It is essential to follow the instructions on the approved label before handling, storing or using any crop-protection product. Compiled February 2003.