Broaden the spectrum of pests controlled with Cobalt Advanced

Mixtures of organophosphate (OP) and synthetic pyrethroid (SP) insecticides are often used in broadacre to broaden the spectrum of pests controlled by either an OP or an SP used alone and can on occasion mitigate the impact of insect resistance to either mode of action (MoA). The downside, however, is the increased likelihood of spillages, contamination and measuring inaccuracies as well as the lack of defined protocols (e.g WHP, MRL etc). Dow AgroSciences launched CobaltTM Advanced Insecticide for the control of establishment pests last year to address these issues. Cobalt is a dual mode of action insecticide containing lambda cyhalothrin, a synthetic pyrethroid, and chlorpyrifos, an orgnaophosphate. The resultant ‘in-can’ mix is an insecticide with broader spectrum activity and double the killing activity on some pests. In addition, the dual mode of action means any pests which have developed resistance to one of the ingredients can often be controlled by the other. 

The EW formulation of Cobalt Advanced offers farmers a lowering of risk on two fronts. The smooth flowing EW formulation is less prone to splashing than a traditional emulsifiable concentrate (EC) formulation and with only one product to measure and pour, the exposure risk is further mitigated. Operator exposure to concentrated insecticides is a major concern and Cobalt represents a real step forward in this regard.

Horticulture business manager John Gilmour says that in fact Cobalt is such an advanced formulation it is more like a capsule suspension (CS) than it is to any other type of formulation. “Although it is an EW, an oil in water emulsion, Cobalt uses latex encapsulation technology to hold the active ingredients out of the water phase. Under the electron microscope you can see that the formulation is very similar to a CS. The upshot of all this is that it’s easy to handle, easy to pour, premixed and overall a safer and easier to use option for growers.” “The other great advantage of Cobalt for us is that it’s already road tested and proven in in other international markets (NZ and USA). What we know from those markets is that Cobalt has a great fit early post emergent as an alternative to bare earth sprays. Growers who are concerned about the high active ingredient loading in the environment that can result from using bare earth treatments and the unnecessary spraying if pests don’t appear have Cobalt as their ‘go-to’ option” for early pest control.” 

Cobalt controls Red-legged earth mite (RLEM), Lucerne flea, Blue oat mite, Cutworm, Aphids, Native webworm and can be used pre-seeding (i.e., it can be mixed with knock down herbicides) or post emergence for the control of pasture webworm. Cobalt is approved for use in all winter pulses, winter cereals, canola and pastures and can be applied by aircraft.