THERE’S been an increase in the number of WA growers looking to a new insecticide to help combat a range of pests impacting broadacre crops and pastures.
Last season’s inaugural performance of Cobalt Advanced, by Dow AgroSciences, in a relatively small pocket of the State’s wheatbelt has resulted in more widespread demand for the product this season.
Ruralco WA Business Development Manager John Simpson recommended Cobalt Advanced to eight growers in the Brookton-Corrigin region last year for use on canola, lucerne, wheat, barley and pasture crops.
John said as it was a particularly bad season for insects, such as redlegged earth mite, blue oat mite and lucerne flea, he was looking for an alternative to the usual broadspectrum treatments.
Cobalt Advanced is a new insecticide with two modes of action, chlorpyrifos (1B) and L-cyhalothrin (3A), for controlling earth mites, lucerne flea, cutworms, caterpillars, aphids, weevils and bugs in broadacre crops.
It is approved for use in winter cereals, canola, pulses, lucerne and legume-based or grass pastures.
Cobalt Advanced kills pests through contact as well as ingestion, resulting in a fast knockdown effect visible within 24-48 hours.
Each of John’s clients who used the product was successful in controlling infestations, which, in turn, resulted in healthier crops for the season.
“It worked really well,” John said.
“The result was quick and we found it mixed well with other products. One grower wasn’t having any success with the usual brews, but when he tried my brew, which contained Cobalt Advanced, it was the only one that worked.”
John said application rates ranged from 120-300 millilitres per hectare in cereal crops and 300-500mL/ha in pastures.
He said the knockdown achieved was excellent, with good residual, while he found that even insects not listed on the label were controlled, such as balaustium mite.
“That was certainly a bonus – to be able to get a hit on insects we weren’t expecting to be killed.’’
“I’ll be using a lot more of the product this year for growers across a much wider area, as I cover from Morawa right down to Corrigin, supporting FarmWorks, The Farmshop and CRT stores in that area.
“So this will be well suited to a range of areas and rainfall zones.
“It’s getting away from using straight chlorpyrifos. There are other actives in Cobalt Advanced, so we are not relying on certain chemistries all the time.
“It’s also just giving growers another option and one which has added benefits,’’ John said.