Unprecedented flexibility with Conserve Plus

Conserve™ On-Farm Grain Protectant, launched by Dow AgroSciences in 2014, brought farmers a highly effective grain protectant to control the resistant lesser grain borer. Conserve On-Farm rapidly developed a reputation with farmers as providing robust control, often exceeding expectations. It’s one downside, however, is the restriction for use on malt barley, rice and maize. This has been addressed with the recent launch of Conserve™ Plus Grain Protectant.

Conserve Plus contains 100 g/L spinosad and 100 g/L s-methoprene, which when used as per label recommendations, applies a targeted dose of 1 g per ton of each active ingredient. This high dose strategy is an important to ensure all insects are controlled, so as to limit resistance development. Conserve Plus controls four of the five key insect pests of stored grain: lesser grain borer (Rhyzopertha dominica), rust-red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum), saw-toothed grain beetle (Oryzaephilus spp.) and flat grain beetle (Cryptolestes spp.).

Conserve Plus does not contain an organophosphate (Conserve On-Farm also contains chlorpyifos methyl) and as such, rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae), is not controlled. It is therefore essential to add an organophosphate (OP) grain protectant to ensure complete insect control. Reldan™ Grain Protector will be the product of choice in most circumstances due to its residual control and nil WHP (1 L packs of Reldan Grain Protector will be available in October). When used on malt barley and maize, fenitrothion is the only OP mixing partner approved for use.

For growers of malt barley, in particular, having access to Conserve Plus for the first time is an enormous benefit. Andrew Weidemann, Chair of the Grain Producers Australia, has outlined how Conserve Plus will be used in his operation in Victoria:

“We grow a range of crops, particularly malt barley for beer. At times, we have had to store grain for up to 15 months. Holding grain for that long puts a lot of pressure on our storage system and the management of grain pests. To date we’ve had to apply phosphine at least twice in that period to control insects. That’s why we have been looking at new options; to give us the flexibility in the marketing of our grain.

Conserve Plus is a game changer. It allows growers to use a new active ingredient to manage insecticide resistance in stored grain pests. It allows older storages to be utilised to store malt barley so as and not having to rely solely on gas sealed silos where phosphine is used. Conserve Plus gives growers more flexibility to store and market their malt barley, is easy to apply and will help prolong the life of phosphine by managing insects resistant to phosphine.”

Another benefit Conserve Plus brings to the market is its range of pack sizes. Conserve Plus will be available in 500 mL (able to treat 50 T) and 5 L (able to treat 500 T) packs to suit both small and large enterprises. “We are delighted to have a versatile solution for all grain growers this season” expressed Jon Dadd, Grain Protection Business Manager for Dow AgroSciences. “For the coming harvest, Conserve On-Farm will be marketed alongside the 500 mL pack of Conserve Plus. We will phase out Conserve On-Farm in 2017 and launch the Conserve Plus 5 L pack in its place to suit larger operations”.

Conserve Plus will be sold under the same stewardship program as Conserve On-Farm, to ensure only a single application of spinosad is made to any parcel of grain. For agencies already accredited for Conserve On-Farm, all sales stewards must complete the Conserve Plus online learning module. This is required to update their accreditation to include Conserve Plus. Any new agents will also require face-to-face training.