3 pheromones OK’d for apple, pear pests
Semios, a Canada-based provider of real-time agricultural information and precision pest management tools, received U.S. EPA approval for three aerosol pheromone products that disrupt the mating of codling moth and oriental fruit moth.
“Our new formula performs extremely well at lower temperatures, emitting a drier mist that disperses quickly across an orchard,” says Michael Gilbert, CEO of Semios. The pheromone aerosol dispenser is part of a custom-designed controller and sensor network that gives farmers remote access to the conditions in the field 24/7.
Once hung in the trees, the in-field sensors monitor the number of pests and combine this with wind and temperature conditions to optimize pheromone deployment. Most common is a metered puff every 15 minutes, 12 hours a day, during evening and nighttime hours through the growing season.
The combination of remote access to the fields 24/7 and the aerosol trigger release means farmers can deploy the right amount of pheromones only when needed, making it more effective and a less costly alternative to pesticides, says Gilbert.
Semios sells the only pheromone dispenser that can be controlled remotely.
Manus Boonzaier, farm manager for Canada’s largest grower and packer of apples, says his experience with the pheromones has been promising.
“We deployed Semios pheromones on 35 acres this past season and did not need to use any pesticides on this crop, however a separate control block that we established needed multiple sprays,” he says. “It was clear the pheromones were highly effective in disrupting the codling moth.”
Pheromones confuse the male insect so that they are unable to find the female to fertilize the eggs, thus diminishing pest populations without killing the pests or using toxic substances. Codling moth is the No. 1 global pest of apples and pears, and the oriental fruit moth is the second.
By switching from pesticides to pheromones, farmers worldwide can produce a safer product with less toxicity to the fruit, workers and environment, says Gilbert. As the pheromone only targets the specific pest, pollinators and other beneficial insect species are not affected. Semios also offers organic eligible pheromones.
Semios is a precision-farming platform that provides real-time information and pest management tools for the tree fruit, nut and grape growers. The product combines hardware with powerful secure online software that monitors field and weather conditions and allows remote pest monitoring and deployment of mating disruption pheromones. According to the company, it’s easy to use, reduces labor and allows farmers to make decisions that preserve and increase crop value. For more information, visit.
This article published in the January, 2015 edition of WESTERN FARMER-STOCKMAN.
All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2015.