As crops like nuts, grapes, peaches and apples are well into harvest and approaching winter at this point, sprayable pheromone products are an excellent option for growers who did not deploy season-long products and wish to provide extra protection against final flights late in the season. If you are unfamiliar with sprayable mating disruption, here’s a quick primer.
What is sprayable?
Under the scope of mating disruption, there are several platforms of deployment that growers can select from to best suit the unique conditions of their farms. The CheckMate® sprayable platform from Suterra is a versatile, sprayable pheromone that can be directly applied using standard spray equipment.
Sprayable pheromone products use a technology known as microencapsulation, which suspends and traps a small amount of pheromone in a microscopic sphere. When deployed in an orchard or vineyards, the microscopic droplets act like billions of tiny individual dispensers, releasing pheromone and disrupting mating of the target pest.
Does this mating disruption require special application equipment?
CheckMate® sprays are tank-mixable with most common agrochemicals and are easy to integrate into any existing spray regimen. This makes it particularly appealing for growers planning post-harvest nutrient applications because the CheckMate® can receive a “free ride” with the planned program and battle late-season pests to prepare for a clean start to the 2022 growing season.
It’s also a sound investment when applied as its own spray. Because the unique way each droplet of sprayable pheromone serves as its own miniature dispenser, sprayable mating disruption does not require the same amount of foliar coverage as most other sprayable crop protection inputs, allowing for faster application. This form of mating disruption is effective when applied using a wide range of water volumes (always avoiding run off, of course).
Why use mating disruption to reduce pest populations?
CheckMate® formulations are safe for the environment and do not harm beneficial pollinators and natural enemies of pests. They are perfect for zero residue farming operations since they are exempt from MRL regulations. Sprayable mating disruption is especially effective for use in situations where growers are experiencing unpredictable pest pressure, as the flexible nature of this precision agriculture technology allows growers to limit their sprays to when they’re needed, where they’re needed.
Which pests can be controlled with sprayable mating disruption?
Although pheromone microencapsulation technology has existed since its first use for pink bollworm in 1989, this precision technology is increasing in popularity. New sprayable mating disruption options are continuously being developed for additional pests, so it is rapidly becoming more available to a wider range of growers. Among other pests, Suterra offers sprayable mating disruption for vine mealybug,navel orangeworm, and codling moth.
When you consider options for reducing late-season pest pressure to protect next season’s crop, keep sprayable formulations in mind as a flexible and cost-effective solution. If you are curious about how CheckMate® sprayable products can fit into your farm’s IPM program, contact your local representative or send us a message through our online portal.