Since launch Transform™ has proved to be very effective in the control of Mirids while at the same time not flaring silverleaf whitefly or mites. Many users also reported that by using Transform to control mirids and aphids, they had the added benefit of suppressing whitefly and therefore avoiding costly sprays later in the season.
Scott Armstrong is a cotton grower from St George in Queensland, he and his family have been growing cotton at their Cooinda property for 42 years. Scott grows half their cotton area to Bollgard® cotton and in the past has used a variety of chemicals to control sucking pests. Whilst all of them gave good control of the pests, Scott found they were also very hard on beneficial insects. This didn’t sit well with Scott:
“On our farm we’re pretty big on beneficials and letting them do what they do naturally, just them doing that saves us a lot of expense at the end of the season.”
Scott has found that although these hard chemistries take care of the pests early in the season, problems with secondary pests means more spray applications are required later on.
After spending the last five or six years trying a variety of different ways to maintain beneficials, a chat with his agronomist in the off-season led Scott to try Transform insecticide. “When we sprayed, mirid numbers were just on threshold and rapidly increasing.”
“Transform has done a remarkable job. We’ve got very good control of mirids, and even now - two weeks later - we still have very low numbers, well below threshold. The most exciting thing is that we’ve got just a fantastic population of beneficials there which is helping keep all the other pests under control and well below threshold.”
“The numbers of whiteflies and mites and other late season pests we see at this time of the year are still very low, and with the good levels of beneficials preserved in these fields, we expect these will keep those pests in check. That’s something we haven’t seen from other products we’ve been using in recent years.”
“I’ve found Transform just as effective or even slightly more effective on the target pest, but it’s certainly a much softer chemistry and we’re getting much higher numbers of beneficials following the application than we have using other chemistries.”
“If you can preserve your populations of beneficials they are going to do a very effective job for the right price.”
This season, Dow AgroSciences will be introducing a new formulation of Transform Insecticide. John Gilmour Horticulture business manager at Dow AgroSciences Australia says that the most common question he’s received since the decision to switch to the new formulation is why fix what isn’t broken? John says that “the switch from an SC (Suspension Concentrate) to WDG (Water Dispersible Granule) is primarily for stability as SC’s can settle in the drum, which with a 20L drum can be difficult to shake out. We want to do everything we can to make like easier for growers and resellers and the WDG offers a few key advantages that will do that.”
The WDG formulation has approximately twice the loading of active ingredient, so one of the benefits of moving to the WDG formulation is that we get the same results from half the rate. For example the rate for mirids was previously 200-300 mL/ha with the liquid formulation, whilst with the WDG formulation it will be 100-150 g/ha. This means that packaging, transport and storage will be halved.
The important thing is that whilst making life a bit easier, the new formulation of Transform doesn’t lose any of its other benefits. The WDG formulation has been commercial-in-use for the last 3 years in the USA and in demonstration plots here in Australia this year. In every situation it has proven to be as effective as the SC formulation and the crop safety has been maintained with no evidence of crop damage in the USA or Australia. There are no changes to the current compatibilities, the new formulation does not alter the need for surfactants, and the new formulation mixes easily and completely. So Transform will still be soft on beneficials and tough on sucking pests and offer great control of mirids whilst suppressing silverleaf whitefly.
Due to the increased concentration of active in the WDG a 5 kg pack will treat 50 ha of cotton infested with green mirids at the 100 g/ha rate. For end user convenience, the label use rates of Transform WDG were “rounded-up” which means the value offered by the granule will be slightly better than the liquid, as 100 g of the WDG will deliver 4.2% more active ingredient than is delivered by 200 mL of the SC formulation.
The intention is to launch the WDG formulation in December for use in Q1 of 2016. Limited stocks of the liquid formulation of Transform will be available at a reduced price, from early November 2015. Once this stock has gone the 20L pack will be discontinued.