Transform™ insecticide with Isoclast active - new aphicide that ticks all the boxes

With over 30 years experience in the agrichemical industry, Dow AgroSciences National Sales Manager, Peter Holden, has seen a lot of change. “Every new product introduced to New Zealand has to meet increasingly rigorous regulatory demands to gain registration. These demands quite rightly focus on making products safer for the applicator, the environment and consumers of agricultural produce. However, as well as meeting these increased demands, farmers expect the performance of new products to exceed that of old products they have perhaps been using with confidence for decades. The global cost of developing a new agrichemical is approximately US$286 million, so their development is limited to a select group of companies” states Holden.

As a leading R&D based company, Dow AgroSciences scientists have an excellent track record in delivering new products that meet the demands of today’s market; Transform™ insecticide being a great example. Transform is registered for control of aphids that act as a vector for barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) in cereals and has received much positive feedback since its launch last season. When used appropriately, Transform provides superior performance compared to old industry standards. However, as well as achieving excellent aphid control, Transform has an excellent toxicological and environmental profile, making it safe to the applicator and non target organisms in the environment.

As with all agrichemicals, to avoid pest resistance it is important to rotate chemistries with different modes of action and apply the most appropriate product according to climatic conditions and crop growth stage. In this respect, Transform has a very clear market position.

Application timing is particularly important when determining the best aphicide to use. Systemic aphicides like Transform, will move within the plant and protect new untreated leaves during periods of rapid growth – unlike contact insecticides that are more suited to periods of slow growth. Additional consideration should be given to how aphicides breakdown in the environment, for example, lambda cyhalothrin breaks down rapidly as UV light intensifies. A recent study by FAR demonstrated that the persistence of lambda cyhalothrin is dramatically reduced during periods of rapid growth (e.g. in the spring) to 4.3 days compared to 25.3 days in the winter.

Another key consideration when selecting the appropriate aphicide, is the impact on key beneficial predators such as ladybirds which help to control subsequent aphid outbreaks and improve the overall health and quality of the farming eco-system. Broad-spectrum insecticides that are very damaging to beneficial insects do not meet the criteria of integrated pest management (IPM) systems and should be used sparingly and timed to minimise their negative impacts.

All the above factors point to Transform being the most appropriate and reliable product to use for aphid control in cereals during active growth periods in late autumn and early spring when preservation of beneficial insect populations is important.

Cereal aphids can be difficult to observe in the field and it is advisable to monitor aphid flights to allow accurate and timely aphicide application. An aphid trap funded by Dow AgroSciences has been established in Canterbury to assist farmers to make informed application decisions. Farmers can subscribe to this free weekly aphid monitoring service by following this link.