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Accounting for a Shortage of Beneficial Insects in your IPM Program

Posted May 15, 2020 by Kemin Crop Technologies

When we think of insects on plants, we usually have a negative perception. However, only a small percentage of insects are the kind that is detrimental to our plants and cause economic crop loss. There are many chemical and non-chemical options available to growers for the control of insects. One of those methods is introducing beneficial insects to their growing systems. As part of an integrated pest management (IPM) program, these predators - or parasitoids - are valuable tools growers use to help reduce pesticide inputs, improve crop health, and maximize harvest yields.

Beneficial insects do things that growers can’t do themselves. Beneficial insects have the ability to follow the harmful insects into the areas of the plant where they can multiply and be protected from the environment and harmful chemical sprays. There are many commercially available insects that can be purchased with new and innovative ways of distributing them within the greenhouse. However, many of those options require growers to purchase the insect from companies that produce them in Europe.

Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected growers’ ability to receive the shipment of beneficials from Europe, due to the restriction on the amount and frequency of airline flights. This disruption could continue for some time and cause problems in growing operations around the United States.

When a crop needs the release of predators to protect and prevent target pests, and a shipment is shorted or delayed due to logistics, alternative control methods are needed to make up for the lack of them or to keep the insects under control until the beneficials arrive. Spraying for insects using products that are less detrimental to the beneficial insects yet controlling the pest is an option. However, introducing new chemistries and modes of actions in an IPM program may be challenging for some growers that have not experienced a delay before and have found acceptable products to use.

TetraCURB MAX miticide-insecticide can be the grower’s backup plan when there is a delay in the beneficial delivery and while growers are waiting for them. Here are the features and benefits that make the product the alternative of choice:

1. It has no MRLs: Pesticide residue on crops after the spray is not a concern

2. Growers will still be able to release their order of insects once it arrives.

3. It hasno pre-harvest interval (Zero-Day PHI): The ability to spray today and release the next day, and up to the day of the shipment.

4. It has no Re-entry interval (Zero Hour REI).

5. It is compatible with products such a BotaniGard®* that would assist the growers in expanding and complimenting TetraCURB’s control of soft-bodied insects.

6. It aids in achieving the same farming goal of sustainable agriculture or organic production.


Kemin Crop Technologies, a business unit within Kemin Industries, a global ingredient manufacturer focused on transforming the quality of life around the world, is dedicated to the success of growers like you. We are working to continue to develop solutions to offer to you in times of need such as this. Let us know if you are interested in knowing more about these tools for your greenhouse or operation. We want your success, even more during this unprecedented time!

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*BotaniGard® is a registered trademark of BioWorks Inc.