NovaChem > Industry News > 2021 > Novel chemistry for potato pest control now available

Novel chemistry for potato pest control now available

Published on 04/02/2021

"We’re really excited to bring this product to market in NZ,” says Nufarm development manager Alan Cliffe. “It’s a brand new molecule, with a unique mode of action, and it has an excellent fit with integrated pest management (IPM) programmes. We know a lot of growers have been aware of it because of its use overseas, and we expect there will be quite a lot of demand for it as soon as it becomes available.”

Mainman is a systemic insecticide which contains the active ingredient flonicamid, discovered and developed by Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha (ISK) of Japan. Its mode of action is different from other insecticides such as neonicitinoids, and it is the only insecticide in the IRAC Group 29 class.

Alan Cliffe says a key attribute is its ability to stop aphids and TPP feeding within an hour, working through both contact and ingestion. “Mortality occurs within two to five days, but the fact that they’re not feeding so soon after application really helps limit crop damage and disease transmission.”

Formulated as a water dispersable granule (WG), Mainman is rainfast within three to four hours, and has residual activity for two to three weeks. Translaminar and systemic movement within the plant allow the active ingredient to reach new growth as well as the underside of leaves, which is essential for controlling both TPP and aphids. Critically, Mainman has no reported cross-resistance with other insecticides, and poses low hazard to beneficial insects, so as well as offering a valuable new rotation option for insecticide resistance management, it is also ideal for IPM programmes.

Mammalian toxicity is low, and the new product is registered for both ground and aerial application. Both aphids and TPP pose potentially costly losses to NZ potato growers, Cliffe says. Several species of aphid are vectors of potato leaf roll virus (PLRV) and other viral diseases. “PLRV infected plants are stunted and have upward rolling on the leaves. Diseased plants produce fewer and smaller tubers.”

TPP meantime causes stunting and yellowing of potato foliage and transmits a bacterium which causes a tuber disease known as Zebra chip. Infected plants again produce small tubers and are unsuitable for processing as they exhibit dark stripes when fried. 

“TPP has had a devastating effect on commercial crop growers since it was first detected here in 2006,” Alan Cliffe says. “The more tools they have at their disposal to help manage this pest, the better.”

Field trials with Mainman in NZ have shown exceptional control of aphids and good control of TPP, comparable to current commercial standards. The recommended application rate is the same for both pests (160 g per ha), with no more than two applications per crop, and withholding period of seven days. Mainman comes in a 1 kg pack and qualifies for Priority Partnership.

For more detail talk to your local Nufarm territory manager.

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