It was not too many years ago when Western PCAs, growers and others in so-called specialty crop agriculture were fearful that the pipeline of new chemistry for use in Western crops would dry up. The focus, they feared, would be on the huge acreage commodity crops and as a result, Western agriculture would be largely ignored or at best be identified as a secondary market due to the rising cost of registering new chemistry.

Thanks to the introduction of transgenic commodity crops and the sharp decline in the use of many herbicides and insecticides because of this new technology, the aforementioned scenario did not happen. However, a stream of new low toxicity, low rate chemistry has been flowing into the Western agriculture for the past couple of decades.

These are proving highly effective and widely adopted.

One of the newest is DuPont™ Rynaxypyr™ insecticide, to be marketed under the brand names Coragen™ and Altacor™, which is still two years away from full registration. However, it has been getting good reviews in research trials.

Coragen™ is the brand name for the 20SC formulation, for use on fruiting and leafy vegetables, cucurbits, brassica and cole crops. Altacor™ is the brand name for the 35WG formulation, for use on pome, stone and nut crops.

Respected University of Arizona entomologist John Palumbo based at the UA’s Research Facility in Yuma, Calif., has been testing the product on a wide array of desert crops, including melons, lettuce, cauliflower and cabbage.

It is a very effective material, says Palumbo, with “good knock down” of lepidopterous pests and excellent residual. It is translaminar as a foliar and Palumbo has had success with the product being taken up by the root systems when it applied through a drip irrigation system, which is becoming the dominant irrigation system for many Western crops.

Coragen™ and Altacor™ have a different mode of action than currently registered lepidopterous control compounds. “That’s what makes this new product exciting because it should fit well in a resistance management program,” he said. He is continuing the run trials on the compound.

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