Chemical or pesticide resistance – resistance management:

Pesticide resistance means that a pesticide no longer controls the insect pest, disease, or weed for which it was designed. Often the incorrect use of and sole reliance on chemicals for pest problems can lead to pests developing resistance to those pesticides. When a few naturally resistant organisms remain after a treatment, they contribute to the development of a larger population of resistant organisms.

Any resistance management strategies should incorporate all available methods of control for the pest concerned. Effective chemical resistance management requires:

  • Monitoring crops regularly to find the first signs of disease, insect pest, mite or weed inclusion
  • Using a good crop hygiene and management
  • Adopting an IPM strategy and not using pesticides in a random manner
  • Delaying resistance development by rotating active ingredient (a.i.) chemical groups and restricting their use to certain periods of the year
  • Applying chemicals at recommended rates with calibrated equipment
  • Ensuring good spray coverage
  • Incorporating cultural techniques for controlling the insect pest, mite, disease or weed to reduce selection pressure from pesticides.

Spray applications:

Agricultural chemicals are used in the vegetable industry to control insect pests, mites, diseases, and weeds. Poor spray application techniques can result in reduced control of pests; yield reduction; wasted chemicals; and lower returns to the grower. To maximise spray efficiency, spray droplets must be uniformly distributed on a target surface with minimum losses due to drift, evaporation, or run-off. More information on spray application basics can be found here.

Relevant links to resistance management strategies:

CropLife Australia

CropLife Australia is the peak industry organisation representing the agricultural chemical and biotechnology (plant science) sector in Australia and an excellent source of information on pesticide resistance management. If you are not able to access this information via the internet, ask your local agronomist, state department of agriculture/primary industries, or state vegetable association for help. They can also assist you in identifying which information applies to your crops and how to best manage pesticide resistance in your business.

CropLife Australia's Resistance Management Strategies – which are available on their website – provide a guide for the rotation of crop protection products via different product groups. Information is provided on Fungicide Resistance Management Strategies; Insecticide Resistance Management Strategies; and Herbicide Resistance Management Strategies. To receive notifications of updated strategies by email, you can send a request using an electronic feedback form on their website.

Relevant links to chemical training:


ChemCert Ltd provides training resources and accreditation for the delivery of the National Farm Chemical Health and Safety training program, part of the Agricultural and Horticultural Industry skills training package. The ChemCert National Training Resource (NTR) delivers agricultural and veterinary chemical training courses across the country. More information can be found on the ChemCert website.


SMARTtrain is an educational program designed to provide nationally recognised training in the use of agricultural and veterinary chemicals or pesticide use and OHS risk management. Courses are delivered throughout Australia by Registered Training Organisations. More information can be found on the SMARTtrain website.

Relevant links to chemical record keeping requirements:

Users of agricultural chemicals must be aware of their responsibilities under legislation in their state or territory. Chemical records for all or some uses may be required by law. It is also a requirement of food safety programs to keep chemical records from a food safety perspective.

Keeping chemical records has benefits other than complying with the law. They can be used to track chemical use patterns, assist in the implementation of pesticide resistance management strategies, review past chemical applications, and assess how well they worked. They can also be used to demonstrate that good agricultural practice has been followed in the event of allegations of chemical misuse being made by another person. The following websites outline chemical record keeping requirements, what information must be kept and for how long. Some also include record-keeping templates.




South Australia:

Northern Territory:

Relevant links to permits:

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is an Australian government statutory authority established in 1993 to centralise the registration of all agricultural and veterinary chemical products into the Australian marketplace. It is the regulator of pesticides and veterinary medicines until the point of retail sales. It assesses applications from chemical companies and individuals seeking registration so that they can supply their product to the marketplace. The APVMA also reviews older products to ensure they continue to be safe and effective. The APVMA Gazette is published fortnightly and includes details of the registration of agricultural and veterinary chemical products and other approvals granted by the APVMA; notices as required by the Agvet Code and related legislation; and a range of regulatory materials issued by the APVMA.

To receive the APVMA Gazette, complete the subscription form on the APVMA website.

Minor use permits:

Not all products are registered for use in all crops, particularly for certain vegetable crops. This is because the APVMA registration process requires extensive data collection on product efficacy, crop safety, and residues to set a use pattern and withholding periods. This proves very expensive for producers of crop protection products and therefore a minimum production area is required to make the process viable (thus, crops grown on a small scale nationally might not be included on the product label).

If a product is not registered for a crop, it may be possible for the industry to obtain a permit for an ‘off-label’ use. ‘Minor Use’ permits are for situations usually involving low acreage crops and small portions of high acreage crops. ‘Emergency Use’ permits are for situations such as outbreaks of exotic insect pests and diseases. Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) and the vegetable R&D program have supported many of these permit applications. For minor use permits, it is not always necessary to undertake efficacy and crop safety trials, but residue data is often needed in field trials in major production areas. Generally permits specify the maximum number of applications per crop or season to manage resistance development.

More information on minor use permits can be found on the APVMA website.

The APVMA website includes a permit search facility for minor use and emergency use permits issued by the APVMA ( - a copy of the permit, including conditions of use, can be downloaded.

A list of new permits is included in each issue of the Vegetables Australia magazine. Check the legal requirements for off-label chemical use in your state or territory.

Relevant links to chemical databases:

Pest Genie:

Pest Genie is a commercial online database system which contains comprehensive up-to-date information on a broad range of chemical products, as well as a range of other information relating to their use. For more information, see the Pest Genie website.


Infopest is a comprehensive agvet chemical database, previously produced by the Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI). It is now owned and managed by the not-for-profit industry organisation, Growcom. Infopest is an easy-to-use national database which aims to help primary industries and other agencies achieve their legal obligations, quality assurance requirements, disease and pest free produce, market access, worker safety, reduced costs, and greater returns and a healthier environment. It can be used to search for pesticide products registered to control weeds, insect pests, or diseases in crops and animals. Infopest includes product labels and MSDS documents, as well as information on approved permits and pesticide resistance management.

Source of information and related tools:

Agricultural chemical sector and pesticide resistance management

Chemical training

Chemical databases

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