May 5, 2020
Wilbur-Ellis begins semi-exclusive distribution of Vestaron’s Spear-Lep

Wilbur-Ellis, a producer of precision agriculture, crop protection, seed, nutritional and biological products, in cooperation with Vestaron Corp., announced May 5 a distribution agreement to semi-exclusively distribute Spear-Lep, a bioinsecticide manufactured by Vestaron.

Spear-Lep is a peptide-based bioinsecticide that has a safety profile of a biological product, but with the efficacy and specificity of a synthetic product for broad spectrum lepidopteran control on tree fruit, nuts, vines and vegetables.

Acting at the same receptor but different site as neonicotinoid and Spinosad chemistries, this IRAC Group 32 biological product offers a novel mode of action and an incredible resistance management tool for the stewardship of certain major synthetic chemistries while still allowing growers to maintain biological safety profiles and control lepidopteran pests in their apple and almond orchards. 

Jesse Rosales, key actives and biopesticides portfolio manager for Wilbur-Ellis, said, “We evaluated Spear-Lep in several apple and almond field trials in 2019 and were very pleased with the results. Our salespeople and growers were particularly interested in the potential for a biopesticide without MRLs (Maximum Residual Levels) that is able to be used close to harvest or in the peak of the season, in order to save some of their heavier chemistries.”

Spear-Lep has been evaluated in 60+ field trials across North America and has consistently controlled pests equivalent to mainstream synthetic chemistries. Spear-Lep carries many of the same features of biopesticides such as a 0-day Preharvest Interval (PHI), 4-hour Restricted-Entry Interval (REI) and Caution signal word.

“Spear-Lep is the kind of biopesticide we think can enter mainstream ag in the almond and apple markets. We’re looking forward to our continued evaluation and sales in 2020,” Rosales said.

Vestaron Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ben Cicora said, “Vestaron sees this new partnership with Wilbur-Ellis as a critical milestone for our U.S. commercialization efforts with Spear-Lep. Growers are looking to Wilbur-Ellis for new progressive solutions in these markets and Spear-Lep is the first of many new active ingredients in the coming years.”


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