Jan 7, 2020
A Zero-tolerance Policy

{Sponsored} The market for fresh produce is unforgiving. Even minimal insect damage can turn a truckload of freshly harvested apples into a worthless commodity, destroying a grower’s profitability potential.

“If you’ve got one worm in a load of apples, they’ll turn the whole load down,” says North Carolina apple producer Adam Pryor. “Several types of insects can cause damage, but the worms will really get you. For grading purposes, our thresholds are essentially zero.”

Pryor prioritizes pest control in his orchards. While codling moth is his primary target, he also focuses his season-long insecticide program on apple maggots, oriental fruit moth, brown marmorated stink bug, San Jose scale and the rosy apple aphid.

Codling moth is unique in that it can be more difficult to control than other orchard pests.

It wasn’t that long ago that orchard pest control relied on organophosphates and other older chemistries. “We really didn’t worry about worms then. But, as those harsher chemistries phased out, worms became an issue,” he says. “We didn’t have a lot going for us until products like Delegate became available.”

Delegate® WG insecticide effectively controls worms and other insects through contact and ingestion activity. It also has translaminar and systemic movement in the plant so it can control insects outside the line of spray, including on the underside of leaves and on new growth. A Group 5 insecticide, Delegate offers a unique mode of action that is ideal for insecticide resistance management. It has minimal impact on beneficials and does not flare mites.

Pryor says his spray timing is based on trap counts and the generation of codling moth present. “It’s about application timing and the relationship between insecticides and beneficials. We also rotate chemistries to help manage potential resistance,” he says.

He makes his first codling moth control spray in May and then treats with Delegate in July. “Delegate will clean house on codling moth and won’t harm your beneficials or flare mites,” Pryor says.

Many of the other pest control options available today aren’t as effective as Delegate® WG insecticide and can cause more problems with secondary pests and market restrictions, Pryor says. “Pyrethroids are cheap, but flare other pests and use is restricted in some apple markets. Neonicotinoids are also not an option because they offer little to no control of codling moth. Similarly, if you went with an organophosphate, you’d be increasing your environmental impact,” he says.

“Delegate is considered a kinder insecticide by our markets and has both a longer residual and a shorter PHI than competing products,” he says. “With Delegate, I don’t worry about worms anymore.”

Learn more about how Delegate® WG insecticide can help battle pests in your orchard by visiting www.delegate.corteva.us.

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