BASF launches the next advance in biological pest control for protected cropping | CropSolutions Australia

BASF launches the next advance in biological pest control for protected cropping

◼ Velifer® biological insecticide is now registered for use in Australia
◼ BASF’s newest biological featuring beneficial fungus brings entirely
new method of pest control to the market
◼ Complementary pest control in protected crops is an important step
forward for integrated pest management

Melbourne, Australia – July 30, 2019 – BASF has received registration from the
Australian Pest and Veterinary Medicine Association for its new biological
insecticide, Velifer®. This solution can help prevent insects becoming resistant to
pesticide treatment in protected cropping – greenhouses and other protective
structures when used in an integrated pest management approach.

Velifer is the first biological insecticide of its kind to become available in Australia. It
works by releasing the spores of a beneficial fungus onto the plant surface. When
thrips, whiteflies, aphids and two-spotted mites come into contact with the fungal
spores, the spores germinate and the fungus invades the internal structure and
completely dehydrates the insect pest within 24-48 hours. Velifer is effective on
insect pests’ eggs, larvae/nymph and adults and is safe to use around most
beneficial insect species, giving growers the option to use multiple tactics to control
damaging pests.

“This adds a very exciting, new dimension to pest control for local vegetable
growers,” explained Will Huynh, the Biological Portfolio Manager for BASF Australia
and New Zealand. “It takes the whole concept of integrated pest management another step forward. Velifer will be used as a complementary treatment that reduces growers’ reliance on chemical sprays and enhances their beneficial insect releases.”

With no withholding period and risk of residues on crops, Velifer can be applied at different crop timings, under varying levels of pest pressure and in combination with other control measures to realize its full potential.“The trials we have done show that Velifer can play a very valuable role in local horticulture,” said Huynh. “It offers a more flexible, sustainable approach to managing pest problems at all stages of the growing process, including right up until harvest.”
Velifer will be produced at BASF’s state-of-the-art production site in Somersby, following the completion of an A$1 million investment to upgrade the facilities.

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