Registration of Prohexadione Calcium (BAS-125W) for Use on Apples

in HortScience
Victor W. WinklerBASF Corporation, 26 Davis Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 USA

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A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program encourages the registration of pesticides that represent reduced risk to human health and the environment. A “reduced risk” designation for a pesticide depends on how its use will affect human health and the environment, pesticide resistance, and pesticide management. Prohexadione-Ca is a bioregulator being developed by BASF Corporation to control vegetative growth in apples with the effect of improving fruit production. BASF will petition the EPA to register prohexadione-Ca as a reduced risk pesticide in 1997 based on the following properties associated with its use: Prohexadione-Ca exhibits a very low mammalian toxicity and a low propensity for crop residues. Prohexadione-Ca rapidly dissipates in soil as a result of microbial metabolism and causes no detrimental ecological effects. There is no other hazard associated with the compound and no health risk for user or consumer is indicated. The use of prohexadione-Ca reduces the incidence of fireblight (and helps control this disease). The use of prohexadione-Ca reduces tree row spray volumes of other pesticides up to 25%. With these beneficial characteristics, prohexadione-Ca will fit exceptionally well into an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, providing another “reduced risk” justification for the registration of prohexadione-Ca. The current situation of accepting prohexadione-Ca as a reduced risk pesticide and its registration status will be discussed.

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