Minor use registration

A minor use pesticide registration is one for which the anticipated volume of sales is not high enough for a manufacturer to justify the costs to register and sell the product in Canada.

The projected sales of the pesticide are low, due to the relatively limited crop area, but not necessarily the value of the crop. In Canada, horticulture crops including fruits, vegetables, nuts and ornamentals require minor use registrations to have access to new pesticides.

Minor use pesticides registrations are essential to cost-effective pest management and the competitiveness and sustainability of agriculture, forestry and aquaculture sectors in British Columbia.

User Requested Minor Use Label Expansion (URMULE) Program

Products that are already labeled in Canada on another major or minor crop are eligible for additional registrations (i.e. adding a crop or a pest to the existing label) under the User Requested Minor Use Label Expansion program. URMULEs can be sponsored by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, grower organizations, provincial staff or others. URMULE proposals that are not sponsored by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada must be reviewed and approved by a provincial minor use coordinator.

Proposals that meet the following criteria are evaluated under the URMULE program of Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency:

  • The proposal must be supported by a grower/user group.
  • The active ingredients and the end use product must be registered in Canada.
  • The registrant must be willing to add the new use to the label.
  • There must be sufficient information to assess the safety, merit and value of the proposed new use.
  • The proposed acreage and volume of use must be identified.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Pest Management Center

The Pest Management Center is responsible for pursuing registration of minor use proposals identified as top priorities by the provinces. In March of each year, provinces and other stakeholders meet to decide which minor use projects Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will work on. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will prepare the submission, and generate requested data for Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

Minor Use Committees in British Columbia

Minor use priorities for the province are established annually by various minor use commodity committees. Committee members include growers, grower association representatives, provincial and federal government representatives, crop consultants and specialists, registrants, agro-chemical retailers, and food processors.

Minor Use Priority Lists

Priority lists are documents that identify crop pests and possible solutions. A list is developed for crops in each province by provincial government staff, grower groups, consultants, and others. Each year the provinces (usually through the Minor Use Committees) review the priority lists and add new needs or remove those that are being taken care of through new registrations and research. All provincial lists are merged together into one large list by the Pest Management Centre of AAFC in February of each year, to create a National Priority List.

The National Priority List

The National Priority List serves many purposes, including showing grower groups, researchers and chemical companies where there are needs for new pest management tools. The National Priority List is the main tool used at AAFC’s National Priority Setting Workshop in late March of each year, where attendees decide which priority needs will be worked on by AAFC in the upcoming year. Attendees include provincial minor use coordinators, crop specialists and scientists, growers, grower organizations, consultants, chemical company representatives, Pest Management Regulatory Agency, AAFC, IR-4 (USA minor use program), and other interested parties.

Approximately 10 top (A) priorities are determined for weeds, insects, and diseases each year. Cooperation with the US minor use program (the IR-4 Project) has evolved in recent years. Several joint registration projects have been conducted and new ones are selected yearly.

Status of Active User Requested Minor Use Label Expansion (URMULE) Projects

The Minor Use Pesticide Coordinator’s office in Abbotsford keeps a record of activities for each B.C. URMULE submission.