In Focus: Three Questions With Sarah Reiter

Editor’s Note: Sarah Reiter is the director of global marketing for AgraQuest, overseeing all of AgraQuest’s brands in all markets. She is also responsible for launching new products and expanding existing products into new markets. AgraQuest focuses on discovering, developing, manufacturing, and marketing highly effective biological and low-chemical pest, disease control, and yield enhancing products for agriculture.

1. Florida Grower (FLG):Requiem insecticide was recently registered in Florida. What are some key benefits of this product?

Sarah Reiter: Requiem is a highly effective insecticide for the control of key vegetable, fruit, and tree pests with a unique mode of action based on a synergistic suite of compounds extracted from the plant Chenopodium ambrosioides. Requiem has demonstrated control of whiteflies, aphids, mites, thrips, and other pests in more than 600 trials and grower demonstrations. Requiem delivers contact control of most stages of pests — from eggs to adults. It has negligible effects on beneficial insects like minute pirate bugs, bees, or lady beetles. It is exempt from residue tolerances and is flexibly labeled with 0-day pre-harvest interval and 4-hour restricted entry interval.

Requiem is an excellent example of using the power of nature to meet grower needs. Over the past several years, the western flower thrips (WFT) has emerged as a key pest in central and south Florida. Unable to control this thrips species, pepper producers have sustained significant crop losses. UF/IFAS entomologists, led by Dr. Joe Funderburk, have been promoting integrated pest management (IPM) strategies, including the use of beneficial insects, as the solution. An integral part of their IPM strategy is the need for an insecticide active on WFT but with low impact on minute pirate bug, a key beneficial insect. The registration of Requiem in Florida in January came at a good time and was quickly integrated into thrips control programs on peppers. AgraQuest will continue to support UF/IFAS’ efforts in promoting IPM on the farm in Florida.

2. FLG: Discuss how we can tap into the natural world to develop crop production products that will enhance yields and productivity.

Reiter: Natural products have long been the source of many of the most widely used crop chemical solutions. Pyrethroid insecticides, for instance, originated from pyrethrums extracted from chrysanthemums. Strobilurin fungicides are based on an ingredient originally extracted from a fungus. Bt insecticides, perhaps the most widely used biopesticides, are microbial, produced by bacteria.

AgraQuest is redefining the agrochemical industry with the introduction of effective, innovative, and environmentally responsible pest and disease control products and services. AgraQuest is the premier supplier of proprietary, data-driven biological and low-chemical technology, and unlike many conventional pesticides which are made using petroleum-based or other synthetic chemicals, AgraQuest’s products are produced from renewable, bio-based materials.

3. FLG: Is it important for these types of natural products to work along with a plant’s own internal mechanisms to boost defense and/or productivity?

Reiter: It’s important to recognize that natural products are themselves chemistry. Some of the chemistry acts directly on targets; some of the chemistry works within the plant to up-regulate self defense mechanisms. Take Serenade, our broad spectrum fungicide, for example. Serenade controls pathogens through a combination of four distinct levels of activity, which are listed below.

1. As a contact fungicide: The lipopeptide chemistry in Serenade (produced by its Bacillus subtilis strain QST 713 cells during fermentation) is directly fungicidal, puncturing holes in the membranes of fungal cells. The cell contents leak out and the fungus dies.

2. As a contact bactericide: Serenade also contains anti-bacterial chemistry which prevents the cell walls of bacteria from forming.

3. Through systemic response: Serenade triggers plant disease resistance and abiotic stress resistance.

4. Through growth promotion: Compounds in Serenade induce plant growth.

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories

CitrusForecast: South Florida Dry Season May See Fair Share Of Damp Days
October 31, 2014
Outlook calls for possible above-normal precipitation around region for fall and winter months. Read More
ProductionDrought Forcing California Growers To Rely On Groundwater
October 31, 2014
While the state issues curtailments to those with junior rights, growers are increasingly relying on groundwater to irrigate their crop. Read More
Crop ProtectionThe Unlikely Parallel Between Human And Plant Health
October 31, 2014
One of the notable national developments in the summer of 2014 was the unexpected occurrence of serious respiratory infections in Read More
VegetablesWhy You Should Be Trialing New Vegetable Varieties
October 31, 2014
Selecting high-performing selections is no easy task. Read More
FruitsCalifornia Growers Sue State Over Drought
October 30, 2014
They claim the State Water Resources Control Board illegally denied water deliveries. Read More
CucurbitsNew Watermelon Planting Program For The Southeast U.S.
October 30, 2014
Sakata seeking to make regional impact by providing in-demand material through several local producers. Read More
Leafy Vegetables3 Can’t-Miss Cabbage Varieties For Florida Growers
October 30, 2014
Reed's Seeds highlights a trio of high-performance selections for Sunshine State producers. Read More
Insect ControlTake Control Of Thrips In Your Greenhouse
October 30, 2014
Why such a foreboding title? Thrips, one of the tiniest pests of greenhouse crops, are the carrier of one of Read More
BerriesManage Black Root Rot Of Strawberry
October 30, 2014
Controls include preplant nematode analysis, three-to-five year crop rotations, and more. Read More
FruitsSexual Evolution May Bear More Fruit In The Orchard
October 30, 2014
Scientists take a closer look at genes and find new plant breeding possibilities. Read More

The Latest

CitrusForecast: South Florida Dry Season May See Fair Share O…
October 31, 2014
Outlook calls for possible above-normal precipitation around region for fall and winter months. Read More
ProductionDrought Forcing California Growers To Rely On Groundwat…
October 31, 2014
While the state issues curtailments to those with junior rights, growers are increasingly relying on groundwater to irrigate their crop. Read More
Crop ProtectionThe Unlikely Parallel Between Human And Plant Health
October 31, 2014
One of the notable national developments in the summer of 2014 was the unexpected occurrence of serious respiratory infections in Read More
VegetablesWhy You Should Be Trialing New Vegetable Varieties
October 31, 2014
Selecting high-performing selections is no easy task. Read More
FruitsCalifornia Growers Sue State Over Drought
October 30, 2014
They claim the State Water Resources Control Board illegally denied water deliveries. Read More
CucurbitsNew Watermelon Planting Program For The Southeast U.S.
October 30, 2014
Sakata seeking to make regional impact by providing in-demand material through several local producers. Read More
Leafy Vegetables3 Can’t-Miss Cabbage Varieties For Florida Grower…
October 30, 2014
Reed's Seeds highlights a trio of high-performance selections for Sunshine State producers. Read More
Insect ControlTake Control Of Thrips In Your Greenhouse
October 30, 2014
Why such a foreboding title? Thrips, one of the tiniest pests of greenhouse crops, are the carrier of one of Read More
BerriesManage Black Root Rot Of Strawberry
October 30, 2014
Controls include preplant nematode analysis, three-to-five year crop rotations, and more. Read More
FruitsSexual Evolution May Bear More Fruit In The Orchard
October 30, 2014
Scientists take a closer look at genes and find new plant breeding possibilities. Read More
Apples & PearsWashington Apples To Restart Shipments To China
October 29, 2014
Agreement reached between U.S. and Chinese governments to reinstate market access after two-year absence. Read More
EquipmentEnter To Win A Kubota At The Washington State Horticult…
October 29, 2014
Attendees have a chance to take home a new utility vehicle courtesy of Wilbur-Ellis and Western Fruit Grower. Read More
CitrusUSDA To Provide $4 Million For Honey Bee Habitat
October 29, 2014
The funds will go toward helping growers implement conservation practices to improve honey bee health. Read More
FruitsHuge California Drought Meeting Planned
October 29, 2014
State, federal officials to meet as forecasts for the coming year look bleak. Read More
PotatoesNew CEO At Black Gold Farms, A Top 100 Grower
October 28, 2014
Eric Halverson takes the reins at the potato operation, while his father Gregg will remain president of the farm’s board of directors. Read More
FruitsValent U.S.A., MGK Enter Into Marketing Agreement
October 28, 2014
Valent U.S.A. to manage the marketing and sales of MGK’s crop protection line of insect control products beginning in April 2015. Read More
VegetablesMultistate Land-Grant University Research Project Contr…
October 28, 2014
The project began in the 1970s as a Regional Initiative and has since expanded Internationally. Read More
FruitsMichigan State Offers Online Database Of Tree Fruit Dis…
October 28, 2014
Search engine helps growers identify several issues in the orchard. Read More