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New mode of action for insect pests in cucurbits and fruiting vegetables | Ask the Industry

Syngenta will introduce MINECTO FORTE to the market in 2020, offering control of heliothis, potato moth, cucumber moth, cluster caterpillar, aphids, mites and whitefly as well as the suppression of thrips.
Visitors to the Ayr, GrowMore Experience were able to get a first look at MINECTO FORTE at work.

By Shaun Hood - Technical Services Lead

Over the coming months growers across Australia will see a range of pests invading cucurbit and fruiting vegetable crops. Silverleaf whitefly, mites, aphids, thrips and lepidoptera species are some of the more damaging pests.

Insect species and populations are dynamic. Some thrive in the milder spring or autumn conditions, while others are more active over the hotter summer months. With populations forever shifting, often overlapping, the situation requires constant monitoring and then attention when things become out of the balance.

An integrated approach to pest management remains the key to success. Growers should always be on the lookout for new tools and techniques, including new chemistry that broaden their management options.

For the control of many important pests in cucurbit and fruiting vegetable crops, there is a new development on the horizon. Syngenta has a new miticide/insecticide MINECTO® FORTE on the way. The product is currently under evaluation by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and is anticipated to be available to cucurbit and fruiting vegetable growers in the later part of 2020.

A unique combination of Diafenthiuron (Group 12A) and Cyantraniliprole (Group 28), one of the strengths of MINECTO FORTE is this dual mode of action.

The Group 12A mode of action component will be new for cucurbit and fruiting vegetable growers. So from an insecticide resistance management perspective, this will be an exciting development.

The product label will include control of heliothis, potato moth, cucumber moth, cluster caterpillar, aphids, mites and whitefly as well as the suppression of thrips.

It joins the collection of crop protection products with translaminar activity. Translaminar means movement of the active ingredient into the leaf creating a reservoir inside the plant.

For any miticide or insecticide, translaminar activity is a big advantage because it means pests that feed on the other side or untreated leaf surface are effectively controlled as well.

If we take silverleaf whitefly (SLW) as an example, the tiny crawlers (just 0.3mm long) that hatch from the eggs travel a short distance before finding a protected place to settle. However, it’s the second and third instar nymphs that cause damage to the plant.

Sucking sap from the plant, SLW nymphs can remain hidden away until the winged adults emerge. Once they become adults, females can mate in less than a day and go on to lay up to 400 eggs.

Under ideal warm conditions, the SLW life cycle can be less than three weeks. That’s why uncontrolled populations can build up so rapidly during spring and summer.

The warmer areas of northern Australia can have anywhere between 8 and 12 SLW generations in a year, which puts huge pressure on existing insecticide chemistries. This is one of the main reasons behind resistance concerns with this pest.

A product that moves within the plant is ideal to combat and seek out pests like SLW, mites, aphids and thrips.

More information on MINECTO FORTE will become available closer to market. It will join an expanding Syngenta portfolio of cucurbit and fruiting vegetable crop protection products. It will join the ranks of recent developments including:

  • PROCLAIM® OPTI, an upgraded formulation to PROCLAIM®, which has been registered in additional crops including cucurbits, leafy vegetables and strawberries
  • ORONDIS® FLEXI, a fungicide to control a range of important diseases in cucurbits as well as other vegetable crops.

Further innovations can be anticipated as Syngenta grows its R&D investment to $2 billion over the next five years.

>> LEARN MORE | Speak to your local Syngenta Territory Sales Manager