As published in 2007, apples are grown on 20 271 hectares (50 090 acres) in Canada. Ontario leads in apple production with 42% of the national production, followed by British Columbia and Quebec at 26% and 18%, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick at 11 and 2%, respectively, and less than 1% in both Prince Edward Island and the Prairie provinces. Total national production stands at 340 183 tonnes annually ( Statistics Canada).
Health Canada (HC) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) Pesticide Risk Reduction Program identified apples as a priority crop. General apple production information and issues along with pest issues are documented in the Crop Profile for Apple in Canada. An apple issues document, extracted from the crop profile, was used as a discussion tool in apple stakeholder meetings and consultations to help identify the top insect, disease and weed issues. General issues of concern and potential solutions to these issues are also discussed at these meetings. AAC's Pest Management Centre prepared both documents in consultation with the apple industry, the Pesticide Risk Reduction Program's Technical Working Group and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA).
In August 2005, the Pesticide Risk Reduction Program was discussed at a meeting in Kelowna, British Columbia, with the Canadian Horticultural Council's Apple Working Group. At that time, interest was expressed in participating in an overall apple strategy.
The PMRA and the Pest Management Centre consulted with Canadian stakeholders in Ottawa, Ontario, on December 1, 2005, on developing a risk reduction strategy. At this session, the pest priorities identified through consultation with national apple stakeholders in August and September and the future direction of the apple strategy were discussed. The Apple Working Group indicated it would like to act as the steering committee for the apple pesticide risk reduction strategy and that working groups could be formed to identify solutions for the pest priorities.
The PMRA and the Pest Management Centre consulted with the Apple Working Group in Ottawa, Ontario, on February 28, 2006. The Apple Working Group was provided with an update of the pesticide risk-reduction activities. The Group confirmed the pest priorities determined via email in December and January 2006-leafrollers, scab and organophosphate replacements. It was concluded the Organophosphate Replacements Working Group would be expanded to include stone fruit because phasing out many organophosphates will impact the stone fruit industry as well.
A summary of the Pesticide Risk Reduction Program and the apple industry's involvement was presented to the Apple and Fruit Committee at the Canadian Horticultural Council's Annual Meeting in Ottawa, Ontario, on March 4, 2006.
The Apple Working Group met in Collingwood, Ontario, for the mid-summer apple meeting in early August 2006. The Pest Management Centre and the PMRA provided participants a written summary document outlining the Pesticide Risk Reduction Program and the activities to date.
The Pesticide Risk Reduction Program has funded several projects addressing the priorities the Apple Working Group established in consultation with the Pest Management Centre and the PMRA.
For further updates, please visit Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.