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Minor-use pesticides

Field and greenhouse projects to support product registrations for the management of weeds, insect pests and plant pathogens on specific, smaller-acreage crops.

Submissions and project statuses

The results from Pest Management Centre's Minor Use Pesticides are compiled in the list of submissions to the Pest Management Regulatory Agency and project statuses on:

Minor use crop and pest problems

During the winter months, growers and other stakeholders work with provincial minor use coordinators to identify crop/pest problems and potential solutions for these problems. These problems are grouped into three disciplines: weeds and growth regulators, insects (entomology) and diseases (pathology). The provincial lists are compiled by the Pest Management Centre’s Minor Use Pesticides (MUP) and integrated into a national priority list for each discipline that serves as the working document for the Canadian Minor Use Pesticide Priority Setting Workshop.

Following the workshop, the selected national priorities are grouped into the following categories: entomology, pathology, weeds and growth regulators, regional upgrades and organic production. When determining the solutions for each pest problem, products which minimize the potential impacts on the environment and human health are considered.

2021 Priority Setting Workshop

Due to ongoing impacts of Covid-19, the 2021 Canadian Pest Management Minor Use Priority Setting Workshops were again held virtually during the months of February and March, 2021. Prior to the Workshops, Provincial Minor Use Coordinators (PMUC) consulted with Provincial and National stakeholders to identify their crop/pest priorities. The Pest Management Centre (PMC) hosted a virtual meeting on February 10th, where Registrants provided updates on their technologies. This was followed by mid-day meetings on February 23rd and 24th; when stakeholders reviewed the full list of priorities, identified by the PMUC, and selected their level "C" Priorities. After a week of review and consultation, the stakeholders again met virtually on March 3rd to select their level "B" priorities. The final meetings were held on March 29th and 30th where the stakeholders selected their top 29 "A" priorities.

The results from the Virtual Priority Setting Workshops included 9 Entomology (7A and 2 Organic A) priorities, 11 Pathology (1 Automatic A, 3 Regional A, and 7A priorities), and 9 Herbicide/Growth Regulation (2 Regional A and 2 A) priorities, as listed in the tables below. These selected priorities will become projects for the 2022 growing season.

2020 Priority Setting Workshop

Due to unforeseen impacts of Covid-19, the 2020 Canadian Pest Management Minor Use Priority Setting Workshops were held virtually on 9 July 2020. Prior to the meeting, Provincial Minor Use Coordinators (PMUC) consulted with Provincial and National stakeholders to identify critical "C" priorities, followed by "B" priorities. "B" priorities were further narrowed down by consulting with registrants and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), and due to PMC capacity issues. As a result, 10 "A" priorities were selected from the list of 47 "BB" priorities during the virtual meeting.

The results from the Virtual Priority Setting Workshop included 4 National "A" priorities, 1 Automatic "A" priority and 5 Regional "A" priorities as listed in the table below. Note that the priorities from all disciplines are listed in a single table this year. These selected priorities will become projects for the 2021 growing season.

2019 Priority Setting Workshop

The Canadian Biopesticides and Minor Use Pesticide Priority Setting Workshop took place from March 19 to 21, 2019, in Gatineau, Quebec. As the result of the new selection process established this year, the Biopesticides priorities were combined with the Minor Use priorities. Six of the priorities became a ‘twinned’ priority for which the Pest Management Centre will work toward registration of both a conventional and a biopesticide solution. The Biopesticides and Minor Use Pesticides priorities selected are 30 A priorities (Pathology: 12 priorities, Entomology: 9 priorities and Weeds: 9 priorities), 4 A priorities without solution (APWS), 5 Regional upgrades and 2 priorities for the organic production. These selected priorities will become projects for the 2020 growing season.

As the Minor Use Pesticides Program was established in June 2002, Selected National Priorities have been chosen for 2003 to 2021. For a copy of the list, specifying the year of interest, contact the Pest Management Centre at

Minor use pesticides research sites

As any grower of low-acreage, high-value crops will tell you, stopping a pest in its tracks can spell the difference between a good year and a bad one. Insects, diseases, and weeds can hack big chunks out of a small operation's bottom line almost overnight, so growers of these "minor crops" - fruits, herbs, vegetables, nursery stock and landscaping plants, to name a few - are always looking for better ways to keep the pests at bay. Such crops are called "minor" not because they're of little value but because they're grown on small acreages, and they face the same pest management challenges as major crops.

Manufacturers worldwide have developed a broad range of minor-crop pest-control products, which are in common use outside Canada, but many of these controls have remained beyond the reach of our growers since they've never been registered here. This is because Canada's minor-crop operations don't have the collective acreage to constitute a large enough pesticide market, so manufacturers haven't found it cost-effective to pursue Canadian registrations for many potentially useful products.

Areas of Research

Minor Use Pesticides (MUP) generates data to support regulatory submissions to Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), and by doing so encourages pesticide manufacturers to expand their registered product labels to include new minor uses for Canadian growers.

The Pest Management Centre (PMC) in consultation with the PMRA determines the trial requirements for each selected priority and then conducts field, greenhouse and growth-chamber trials that determine pesticide efficacy, crop tolerance to pesticides and for food crops especially, determination of pesticide residues. Trials are conducted in specific locations, corresponding to the crop growing zones and the likelihood of pest occurrence.


MUP is built on a foundation of dedicated Principal Investigators at seven Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research centres across Canada who conduct the majority of required trials. The principal investigators conduct most of these trials in the sites' own experimental fields, although some may be carried out on land belonging to growers collaborating with the PMC. Such collaboration provides the growers with first-hand knowledge of MUP and gives the investigators an opportunity to work with them on the acreages where the pests are naturally active. This improves the likelihood of achieving successful trials, particularly in pesticide efficacy. The PMC Residue Chemistry Laboratory Services, located at the Vineland, Ontario research centre, conduct analysis of samples collected from residue trials to determine pesticide residue levels.

The research sites are located across all but one of Canada's growing zones as prescribed by the PMRA. This diversity helps the PMC find places where the target pests are a particular problem, which is also where MUP trials will provide the most revealing data. It has also allowed the PMC to conduct most of its trials in-house. Because they're strategically located in farming communities across the country, the team members are very much on the PMC's front lines, and participate regularly in local grower meetings, field days, seminars, tours and conferences.

The PMC operates from its headquarters in Ottawa and at seven AAFC research centres where field, greenhouse, and growth chamber trials are conducted:

Despite the wide geographic distribution of the sites, the research teams are in continuous communication with PMC headquarters staff. This regular communication is vital to the success of the trials; it ensures that the research teams are involved in activities such as experimental design, pesticide application rates, the selection of equipment and, where necessary, the controlled introduction of the target pests to the trial site. By sharing their experiences with the rest of the PMC, they create an important forum for exchanging information and help keep the PMC's programs abreast of minor-crop issues in Canada.

What is a minor-use pesticide

A "minor use" pesticide refers to the crop-protection products – fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides – usually used on low acreage, high-value crops, or where pest control is only needed on a small portion of the overall crop acreage. Because these pesticide uses are usually small, manufacturers find the sales potential is not sufficient to justify investments required to register that particular use in Canada.

These crops include vegetables, fruits, specialty crops, herbs, and spices, as well as nursery and landscape plants and flowers. These are often high-value, and are sometimes called "minor crops" because they are grown on significantly smaller areas of land compared to the large acreages of crops like corn, soybeans and wheat.

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