Reset pest populations with Protac SF®

05/07/2021 - With temperatures rising and pest hot spots appearing in many protected crops, now is the time to knock them back with Protac SF®– the breakthrough, new fast-acting contact control – says Tim Crittenden, Technical Sales Manager at Biobest UK.  
Widely adopted by UK growers of berries, tomatoes, peppers and aubergines – as well as cannabis crops – Protac SF® is starting to play a key role in warmer months as a correctional tool helping reset populations of a range of challenging crop pests.  

Rapid pest elimination

With a physical mode of action, Protac SF® is effective at controlling active stages of two-spotted mite, aphid, whitefly, thrips and mealybug. Containing no active ingredient, it has a zero-harvest interval and leaves no residue in the crop enabling applications of predators and parasites to start as soon as the product has dried.   

“On contact with the spray, the pest is quickly immobilised, dries out and is rapidly eliminated,” says Tim. “Correct application is vital, as the spray must come into direct contact with the pest,” he stresses.
Targeting two-spotted spider mite

“Even though Phytoseiulus-System is generally well established in crops by June, hot conditions can prove highly favourable for two-spotted spider mites - with populations quickly multiplying. Sprayed into these pest hot spots, Protac SF® has been shown to be a highly effective tool for resetting spider mite populations in a range of crops, including strawberries and cannabis.

Minimal disruption

Turning to aphids, Tim says it can be a particularly challenging pest in pepper crops. “As temperatures rise, this pest can double its population every few days. Protac SF® is proving a welcome addition to aphid control strategies - while causing minimal disruption to established IPM programmes.

“Tomato nurseries with mealybug issues are also reporting good results. Now is the time to spray Protac SF® into pest hotspots in the stem bundles - where this pest tends to hide.”

Proven benefits early season

Earlier in the season, growers are using Protac SF® to great effect to control two-spotted spider mites emerging from diapause – when temperatures are inadequate for Phytoseiulus-System to establish; to knock back overwintered whitefly before Encarsia-System is introduced; and to give good control of aphids on new shoots.

No harvest interval

Summing up Tim says: “All-in-all Protac SF® is becoming a really useful IPM tool for UK growers to resetting pest populations by creating a level playing field in their crops. With no harvest interval and no persistence in the crop - it is a highly integratable tool.    

“To optimise efficacy, the spray must dry quickly - so apply when relative humidity is 65% or lower. Operators should read the label before applying.”

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