Global Agriculture

Australian grain growers can now tackle sucking pests with Versys insecticide

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26 May 2021, Australia: The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has approved a revised label for Versys® insecticide, extending its use into broadacre crops wheat, barley and canola, and horticulture crops rhubarb, artichokes, sweet corn, carrots and strawberries. The label extension also includes additional registrations for the control of whiteflies and mealybugs in ornamentals and nursery stock.

Aphids pose a double threat to crop yields as their feeding can cause direct damage and they are an important vector of disease – they can infect all cereal crops with the destructive barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV).

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Australian vegetable and cotton growers were the first in the world to have access to Versys in 2018 when it was registered for use in a variety of vegetable crops and cotton. As the first Group 9D insecticide of its kind, growers readily took to using Versys in their fight against aphids, thanks to BASF’s active ingredient Inscalis®,  which can stop insects feeding in as little as 15 minutes.

Now Versys is available for use by more growers, in more crops, to target more insect pests. The new label nominates Russian wheat aphids, oat aphids and corn aphids in wheat and barley and green peach aphids and cabbage aphids in canola as key target species and includes an umbrella registration for all aphids.

Versys also offers longer-term benefits for growers’ integrated pest management programs, as it has low impact on beneficial insects and pollinators.

“The new registrations are great news for grain growers,” said Serge Usatov, Horticulture Portfolio Manager at BASF Australia and New Zealand. “Versys gives them an alternative mode of action for the control of key sucking pests. As well as its immediate impact on aphid infestations, it has longer-term benefits for their integrated pest management programs and strategies for minimising the impact of resistance.”

BASF will continue with large scale demonstrations in wheat, barley and canola this coming season while upscaling production to satisfy demand from these new market opportunities in 2022.

The new registrations are:

·  Control of aphids in wheat, barley and canola.

·  Control of corn aphids in all the previously registered crops.

·  Approval for use in rhubarb, artichokes, sweet corn, carrots and strawberries to manage the same pests as in other vegetable and fruit crops.

· Control of silverleaf whiteflies, greenhouse whiteflies, rose aphids, citrus mealybugs and long-tailed mealybugs as well as the previously registered aphids in ornamentals and nursery stock.

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