Growers have many choices when it comes to protecting their crops from destructive pests. In this article, Vegetables Australia explores a couple of insecticide options on the market that not only help to control pests but extend crop protection, and work in combination with Integrated Pest Management techniques.

Two insecticides from agricultural sciences company FMC provide growers with ideal choices to address pest issues at different stages of the season.

Coragen® and Benevia® are part of the Group 28 insecticide family, and are particularly effective against target pests while being soft on key beneficial insects used in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs.

FMC Strategic Product Manager, Leandro Posteraro, said the former was targeted at a range of chewing pests including caterpillars, leaf miners and loopers.

“Benevia® also has activity on a range of chewing pests and the added benefit of sucking pests such as aphids, silverleaf whitefly, and rasping pests like thrips,” he said.

“The key to both products are to scout the fields and to determine what pests are becoming a problem at that particular time of the season.

“As an example, if populations of aphids, whitefly and thrips are of concern then an application of Benevia® would control those insects, and also reduce the background numbers of chewing pests.

“If, at the time aphids and thrips are not of concern, then Coragen® – with its targeted control of a wide range of chewing pests – is the better option.”

Key benefits

Mr Posteraro said both insecticides have attributes to help growers achieve their goal of producing good quantities of high-quality fruit or vegetables.

“The mode of action means pests will stop feeding rapidly once exposed to the chemistry, which provides almost immediate crop protection,” he said.

“Both have translaminar and local translocation activity, which helps the insecticides reach hidden feeding sites to control the pests in these places.”

The pair also have an impact on a wide range of pest life stages to target various pests at different stages of their development.

“Coragen® will control chewing pests from the egg through to the larvae stage,” Mr Posteraro said.

“Benevia® has similar activity against the chewing pests and in the case of silverleaf whitefly control starts from the eggs, through the nymph phase and adult insects. Nymphs and adults of aphids and thrips are also controlled.”

Mr Posteraro added that the robust performance of Benevia® on a wide range of pests meant it was ideal to use early in the season.

“It has the ability to control a cross spectrum of pests early to stop damage and extend crop protection across a range of crop types,” he said.

“Growers also find back-to-back applications work particularly well for robust control of the pest spectrum.”

Advice for growers

Mr Posteraro said as both products are part of the Group 28 family, care should be taken to not overuse the insecticides during the season.

“Benevia® should only be used twice across the entire crop, so it is important to place it where it will provide the most value to the growers. Coragen® can be used three times across a crop, with no more than two consecutive applications,” he explained.

Importantly, the total exposure period to Group 28 insecticides from seedling through to harvest should not exceed 50 per cent of the crop cycle.

“Use a window approach, rotate with alternative modes of action and incorporate IPM techniques to help with insecticide resistance management,” Mr Posteraro advised.

“These products are too important to the Australian horticultural industry to lose to resistance.”

Products including Avatar® eVo from FMC – among others – are available on a wide range of crop types as an effective rotation tool with the Group 28 options.

“Use Coragen® and Benevia® as cornerstone products in any insecticide management program because of their robust performance, IPM-friendly position and agronomic attributes to assist growers in achieving better crops,” Mr Posteraro said.

Find out more

Please contact your local FMC representative or visit the FMC Australia website.


Cover image: High-quality vegetables are produced with the use of Coragen® and Benevia® insecticides.