NovaChem > Industry News > 2022 > Views for, against widely used bud breaker released

Views for, against widely used bud breaker released

Published on 07/12/2022

Hydrogen cyanamide is used in the kiwifruit industry to help buds form by simulating the effects of frost.
It is less commonly applied to
apple, cherry, apricot, and kiwiberry crops, and is a component of a widely used product called Hi-Cane.

The EPA is currently reassess
ing the use of hydrogen cyanamide with a total ban in five years. This comes in the wake of significant new scientific data and risk assessments completed by overseas regulators.

The report summarises submis
sions from a public consultation on hydrogen cyanamide, which was held from 30 September to 20 December 2021.

The EPA received 202 respons
es, with 43 of those submitters indicating they want to speak at a public hearing in March 2023.

A total of 78 submitters sup
ported the application, and 117 opposed it.

"The EPA received many different views from a range of inter
ested parties, including industry organisations, iwi groups and Māori businesses, NGOs, growers and members of the public," says Dr Chris Hill, general manager of hazardous substances and new organisms.
Concerns about water contami
nation, the effects on animals, and the impact on human health for those in communities where spraying occurs were among the issues raised.

Submissions supporting its use
included the view that hydrogen cyanamide is the only reliable and cost-effective option available, with some submitters saying many orchards would become unprofitable without it.

Submitters also noted the
spray has enabled orchards to be successful in rural areas with less favourable climates, and the positive effect this has had on Māori growers.

Prominent kiwifruit industry
organisations discussed alternative products not containing hydrogen cyanamide, but ruled them out as significantly less effective than hydrogen cyanamide.

"The summary report we have
produced only reflects the information and opinions provided by people who voluntarily provided a response to the public consultation," says Dr Hill. "The next step is for the decision-making committee to consider the summary report and each submission alongside all other material provided, as part of our robust reassessment process."

EPA scientists will review the
technical information in the submissions and additional documents, including results from research by key companies in the kiwifruit industry.

Submitters who indicated they
wish to be heard will be invited to speak to their submission at the hearing.

Use of hydrogen cyanamide
can improve yields on green kiwifruit orchards between 28 and 60 percent, and gold yields between 25 and 50 percent, according to NZ Kiwifruit Growers.

A report it commissioned from
the NZ Institute of Economic Research found removing hydrogen cyanamide could cost $233-$300 million in grower returns, plus a further $100 million to other associated industries.

Details of the submission sum
-mary report can be found online at

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