New Moth Control Product OK’d

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The U.S. EPA has granted registration to Madex HP, the first granulosis virus approved for use in North America that controls the larvae of both the codling moth (Cydia pomonella) and oriental fruit moth (Grapholita molesta). The environmentally-friendly product from Certis USA will be commercially available to apple, pear, stone fruit, almond, and walnut growers in the spring of 2013.

Codling moth and oriental fruit moth can be economically destructive for any grower of these crops. However, control of these pests is especially critical in fruit and nut crops destined for export to countries where they don’t currently exist. Japan closely scrutinizes imported fruit and nuts to prevent the introduction of codling moth; Mexico takes similar measures against oriental fruit moth. Even a few infested apples or walnuts may result in rejection and quarantine of an entire shipment.

Michael Dimock, director of field development for Certis USA, said “the introduction of Madex HP is important on a number of fronts. It is an effective, sustainable product ideal for IPM production systems. It is one of the very few insecticides available to fruit and nut growers which is exempted by EPA from residue tolerance, meaning that it will not increase the residue load on crops grown for export. Producers greatly need products that meet these criteria in order to market their crops globally.”

The active ingredient of Madex HP is an isolate of a naturally occurring codling moth virus (Cydia pomonella granulovirus or CpGV) selected for its ability to infect and kill larvae of both the codling moth and oriental fruit moth. Larvae only need to ingest one or two virus particles to cause a lethal infection. The potency of Madex HP is similar to CYD-X HP insecticidal virus from Certis USA, therefore it can be used at ultra-low rates — as  low as 0.5 ounces per acre — making it a highly cost-effective control product.

Madex HP provides growers with an economical alternative for managing insecticide resistance and residues. Because it is tank-mix compatible with most other insecticides, fungicides and fertilizers, no additional trips across the orchard are required. Madex HP will also be packaged in an easy-to-use bottle with a window-strip calibrator for measuring the correct dose.

Scott Ockey, Certis USA field development manager for the Western U.S., is enthusiastic about the introduction of Madex HP. Ockey said, “Stone fruit and nut growers now have the option to use an insecticidal virus to control a problem pest like oriental fruit moth, an option that they have never had before.”

Ockey expects that many of the current pome fruit growers who use CYD-X or CYD-X HP in the Eastern half of the U.S. will opt to use Madex HP, since both pests are present in many of the orchards.

Madex HP is highly specific to codling moth and oriental fruit moth, so it is noninfectious to beneficial insects, fish, wildlife, livestock or humans and can be successfully used with mating disruption programs. It has a 4-hour reentry period and zero-day pre-harvest interval. Certis USA plans to seek approval for use of Madex HP in organic production.

Madex HP was developed by the Swiss company Andermatt Biocontrol AG, a global leader in biopesticides based on insect-specific viruses. Other Andermatt Biocontrol products based on CpGV have been sprayed on more than 250,000 acres of European fruit trees annually. Andermatt Biocontrol named Certis USA as its development and marketing partner for Madex HP in North America last year. Andermatt Biocontrol managing director Daniel Zingg said, “We are very excited that the USA will be one of the first countries in the world receiving registration approval for Madex HP.”

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