One given in the crop protection industry is that bugs and diseases continue to evolve and adapt and so industry must follow suit. In research labs across the country and the world, scientists are constantly looking at new materials, new chemistries and new ways to fight the pests that are hell bent on ravaging the crops that provide food and fiber to our nation and beyond.
Today’s researchers are also charged with the need to not only produce more effective crop production tools but they have to be more environmentally friendly and less toxic to the earth. It’s a herculean task that has these researchers toiling for years going down many black holes and devoting the better of a decade to bring any new product to market.
Still they persist and succeed. Following are several new products for the specialty crop industry in various stages of registration that meet the high bar of expectations that must be cleared before a product can be used.
Closer from DowAgro Sciences
In early May, DowAgro Sciences announced that a new insecticidal active ingredient, sulfoxaflor, has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Earlier this year, the active ingredient, which will be marketed in the United States as Closer for fruits and vegetables and Transform for program crops, also received approval in Canada and several other countries. DowAgro is in the process of submitting registration applications and providing additional data for individual states that require that such as California and Arizona.
Mike Lees, a market development specialist for DowAgro, said if all goes as expected Arizona’s state agency should approve the use of the products fairly soon, while California registration will probably come by early 2015.
About a decade in the making, sulfoxaflor belongs to a new chemical class called sulfoximines invented by Dow AgroSciences and offers extremely effective control of many important sap-feeding insect pests. It can be used in a large number of major crops, in both the row and fruit and vegetable categories. In the specialty crop arena, citrus, pome/stone fruit, nuts, grapes, potatoes, many vegetables and strawberries are likely candidates for Closer. Cotton and soybeans are two of the row crops where Transform is expected to be heavily utilized.
Lees said Closer will provide growers an additional tool with a new chemistry to use in their battle against aphids and other pests. As bugs are constantly developing resistance to one treatment or another, he said an additional tool is always important to the grower community. It offers systemic control and produces a long-lasting residual effect. In addition, he said sulfoxaflor is fast acting and works on contact, so growers with an acute problem can achieve rapid results that can stop damage in its tracks.
He added that sulfoxaflor is an ideal addition to Integrated Pest Management programs, as research data shows that the active ingredient demonstrates lack of cross-resistance with other insecticides.
Sulfoxaflor maintains populations of beneficial insects as it is highly selective showing minimal impact on beneficial arthropods, including bees and predators such as lady beetles, pirate bugs, lacewings and parasitic wasps.
In literature about the new insecticide, DowAgro claims that it “provides best-in-class control of aphids” and also offers broad-spectrum control of other sap-feeding pests, including scales and whiteflies. It has a favorable environmental profile with a 12-hour re-entry interval (REI) and short preharvest interval (PHI), including a one-day PHI in citrus, a one to three-day PHI in vegetables and a seven-day PHI in pome fruit, tree fruit and tree nuts.
Movento from Bayer
There are limited effective management options for nematodes once perennial crops have been planted, but Bayer CropScience’s Movento insecticide provides a solution to tree nut and grape growers. Movento insecticide is unique in that it offers nematode management from a foliar application and can be applied after crops are established.
It is systemic throughout the plant to provide protection. The product’s two-way systemic action allows it to move from the leaves to the roots, where it manages nematode populations.
Bayer’s Biologics Portfolio
Bayer CropScience Biologics is building a leading technology platform for biological pest management solutions. By combining the firm’s strength in chemistry and seeds and traits with biologics, it is now positioning itself to be a world leader in integrated crop solutions. The company believes it is helping to drive a global agricultural revolution through the development of effective crop protection products and innovative technologies.
Bayer’s biologics portfolio is predominantly foliar and soil fungicides and foliar insecticides.
Luna Fungicide – Solution Alternaria Issues in Tree Nuts: A topic of concern is the development of resistance to fungicides throughout California. Specifically in the San Joaquin Valley, research has identified growing Alternaria resistance issues for several fungicides containing strobilurin and carboxamide chemistries, while Bayer CropScience’s fungicides containing Luna are still able to control the disease. Development may stem from several factors, but not adhering strictly to sound resistance management practices (such as rotating different classes of chemistries) is known to accelerate the issue.
To help growers face year-long challenges to their tree nut crops, Luna Sensation and Luna Experience were released into the market in 2012. Each brand contains a new active ingredient, fluopyram. Part of the SDHI class of chemistries, fluopyram provides growers with a new tool to combat Alternaria concerns, providing growers with options when determining how to prevent diseases specific to their needs.
According to Bayer researchers, these two products have proven to provide Alternaria and Botrytis control equal or superior to current leading fungicides while also providing protection against Botryosphaeria panicle and shoot blight and Septoria leaf blight in tree nut crops. Through its new, unique chemistry, Luna Sensation and Luna Experience fungicides offer a systemic solution for exceptional protection against some of the toughest diseases growers face today while also providing sound resistance management.
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