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Which crop protection product has over 190 uses?


The question of which crop protection product has over 190 approved uses was posed to an audience of advisors, manufacturers and researchers at the recent Crop Protection in Southern Britain Conference. Barrie Hunt of Interfarm UK Ltd provided the answer and the evidence that the biological product DiPel DF, based on the naturally-occurring micro-organism Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki, offers an effective and easy to use solution for the control of damaging caterpillar pests in the widest range of horticultural, agricultural and amenity situations and has no maximum number of applications, no maximum total dose, no harvest interval and no LERAP.

Insecticide use, especially in fresh produce, is increasingly under scrutiny from producers, retailers and consumers. The retailer and consumer are looking for high quality food with no insect damage or contamination, no residues and a good environmental profile. Growers want to produce attractive produce in a way that the market accepts, using products with a short harvest interval, low or no residues and a good environmental profile. Agronomists require a product that works well, that can be used in Integrated Crop Management, has no resistance issues and a wide range of minor crop recommendations. The development of insecticides based on Bacillus thuringienis var kurstaki, such as Dipel DF, allows all these requirements to be met. These products present a favourable toxicological, environmental and residue profiles. They also have a very specific insecticidal activity, explains Barrie Hunt.

Barrie pointed out that some growers and advisors were surprised to know that Dipel DF is applied in exactly the same way as a conventional insecticide, mixing the recommended dose rate with sufficient water to give good coverage of the target crop. Caterpillar pests ingest the Bt product and within minutes the product causes gut irritation and the pests stop feeding. Death of the pest occurs within 1 to 3 days, just like many other insecticides.

Dipel DF is also very easy to use, having no maximum number of applications, no maximum total dose, no harvest interval, no LERAP, no detrimental residues and no resistance problems. It is biodegradable, non-toxic and can be used in conventional or organic systems and in IPM programmes.

So how on many crops is Dipel DF approved? It has label recommendations for outdoor cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, outdoor ornamentals, protected ornamentals, amenity vegetation, strawberries, raspberries, protected tomatoes, protected cucumbers, and protected peppers. More impressive however is the very extensive range of Specific Off-Label Approvals (SOLAs) – 180 crop situations to date – including a vast range of salads, alliums, herbs, soft fruit and top fruit. Both major and minor crops are included on the list, says Barrie.

DiPel DF is applied with a conventional hydraulic sprayer at a maximum individual dose of 0.75 kg of product per hectare in a sufficient volume of water to ensure complete coverage of the crop or vegetation being treated; typically 400-1000 litres of water per hectare for field crops and 400-2000 litres per hectare for protected crops. The minimum interval between applications is 7 days. For any SOLA, growers need to obtain a copy of the notice of approval to use Dipel DF in the relevant crop via the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) web site, ADAS offices or NFU.

Developed by Valent Biosciences of the US, part of Sumitomo Chemicals Company, DiPel DF contains insecticidal crystal proteins and spores from the naturally-occurring micro-organism Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki Strain ABTS-351, formulated as a water dispersible granule. It is recommended as a biological insecticide for the control of caterpillars in vegetables, soft fruit, ornamentals and amenity vegetation. There are no restrictions on the number of treatments that can be applied. It is packed in 0.5 kgs packs.

registered trade marks of Valent BioSciences Corporation.

For further comment and information, please contact Barrie Hunt, Marketing Manager, Interfarm UK Ltd. on 01354 741414 or 07787 418098 (mobile) or via e-mail .

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