California growers will now have another option aphid control that can be incorporated into their integrated pest management portfolio. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation recently approved the registration of BASF’s Versys insecticide for use on a variety of crop groups.
“Versys insecticide is a new class of aphid control that is registered for use in leafy and brassica crops and this is a novel chemistry for management of aphid and whitefly in those crops,” said Kate Walker, Technical Service Representative for BASF. “We were able to get registration on the crop groups which are really important in the vegetable world… and its registered for a number of different aphids across all of those crops. So, a lot of flexibility within this label.”
The material is strictly concentrated on aphid control and does not have any negative impacts on pollinators and other beneficial insects. Versys is the only aphid management tool that is currently registered in the IRAC subclass 9D. “Because it is in this 9D class, the spectrum of activity is very focused on just aphid and whitefly, those piercing and sucking insects and isn’t going to have any impact on any insects outside of that class,” Walker explained.
Much like its sister product Sefina, Versys stops insects from feeding in under 15 minutes after direct contact with the material. Speedy and effective aphid control is important for limiting the spread of bacterial diseases. The material is taken up quickly by the insect and the active ingredient disorients them to a point that they are unable to feed and damage plants.
“When you’re looking at a system where you have a virus or a bacteria that is vectored by that insect, the quicker you can stop that feeding, the less virus or disease transmission you’re going to have,” said Walker. “That’s a really important tool especially compared to some of the other insecticides that are very effective and which we need to include in rotation for resistance management, but they don’t work as quickly.”
Listen to Walker’s interview below.