Marrone Organic Innovations, Inc. (MOI) has introduced Regalia SC, a powerful, proven new tool for controlling fungal and bacterial diseases in a wide range of fruit, vegetable, and ornamental crops.

The new biopesticide product is good news for growers of grapes, lettuce, strawberries, walnuts, peppers and other specialty crops who face such troubling diseases as powdery mildew, Botrytis, downy mildew, gummy stem blight, bacterial blight, canker and leaf spot, and speck.

Regalia SC prevents the diseases by switching on the plant's own natural defense mechanisms so plants produce - and accumulate - higher levels of natural proteins and other compounds that inhibit disease development.

This unique mode of action provides the same level of control expected from conventional fungicides. Regalia SC gives specialty crop growers not only a new option for control of diseases, but also a new mode of action to strengthen their resistance management strategy.

The EPA-registered product is an extract of giant knotweed, Reynoutria sachalinensis, that also effectively controls target spot, tomato late and early blight, and other crop diseases. Compounds that are extracted from the knotweed are proven to stimulate the crops' natural defense system against plant pathogens. More than 100 field trials have demonstrated the product's performance.

“It is exciting to introduce a product with proven performance and a novel mode of action that can be integrated into disease management programs,” said David Warman, MOI national sales manager. “There are still many crop diseases for which new solutions are needed. Despite the plethora of powdery mildew products, growers still rank alternatives to sulfur for powdery mildew control as one of their top needs.”

The California crop registration was announced at the California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA) conference in Anaheim in October.

Regalia SC has both crop and non-crop labels in California, including grapes, walnuts, cucurbits, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries. Regalia SC is also registered for Arizona.

“There are few materials on the market for bacterial control; in walnut blight it's copper and mancozeb,” said Pam Marrone, MOI founder and CEO. “Regalia SC is a good product for walnut blight control.”

Regalia SC can be sprayed without any concern for worker exposure, Marrone said. The biopesticide can be sprayed up to harvest. The product was originally developed by North Carolina-based KHH Biosci, Inc., from technology discovered at BASF and spun out into KHH. MOI purchased the assets of KHH in early 2008, including patents, trademarks, EPA registrations, formulation and manufacturing technology, and field trial data.

Regalia SC is value-priced, Marrone said. For more information on Regalia SC, contact Greg Hallquist, MOI Western Regional Manager, at (916) 838-7197, or visit www.marroneorganicinnovations.com.