1. Product Launches

Corteva Agriscience Leads Fight against Fall Armyworm; Launches New Insect Control Solution for Corn Farmers

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

Corteva Agriscience (NYSE: CTVA) has introduced a new insect control solution to India’s corn farmers, following the decision by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to approve Spinetoram 11.7% SC to protect corn crops against damage from fall armyworm infestation. Spinetoram 11.7% SC is marketed in India as Delegate® insecticide.

“With the approval of Delegate® insecticide for application in corn, Corteva will be able to offer farmers across India a sustainable and high-performing product which effectively protects their crops from this newest agricultural threat, as part of an ‘Integrated Pest Management’ approach. Our focus now is to make sure that this solution is available quickly to those who need it the most,” said Subbarao Kolli Ph.D., Managing Director, South Asia, Corteva Agriscience.

“The damaging spread of the fall armyworm is already having a direct impact on food security and creating significant economic losses, not only for farmers and consumers but also for the poultry feed industry, which relies on corn grains to meet the public demand for poultry meat and eggs,” he said.

Delegate® is a broad-spectrum insecticide used to control crop-damaging insects. It is effective against target insects at a very low use rate, with a margin of safety toward beneficial insects. The active ingredient, Spinetoram, was accepted for review and registration under the Reduced Risk Pesticide Program by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and was designated by the EPA as the 2008 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge winner for the Designing Greener Chemicals Award[1]. It also received the Agrow Award for ‘Best New Crop Protection Product’ in 2010.

The fall armyworm, a pest native to the Americas that feed preferably on corn[2], was initially reported in Karnataka in 2018, before spreading to 14 states including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Bihar.

Corn is cultivated in approximately 55 million hectares in the entire Asia Pacific region. After rice and wheat, corn is the third largest cultivated food crop in India with approximately 9 million hectares under cultivation across the country.

Corteva Agriscience will conduct a series of training programs across the country to educate farmers about fall armyworm and its damage symptoms. Training will also cover better agronomic practices and the implementation of Integrated Pest Management, which combines scouting, monitoring and targeted treatment to protect crop health. The use of Delegate® insecticide along with the principles of Integrated Pest Management can help to provide effective, uniform and long-lasting control of the pest and manage the development of insect resistance.

“Sadly, it is not just farmers in India who are facing the devastating impact of this fast-spreading pest. As more countries in the Asia Pacific are faced with the damage that the fall armyworm brings, Cortera Agriscience teams across the region are working tirelessly with all stakeholders in the industry to ensure that farmers are equipped with the knowledge and technology they need to protect their corn crops by intervening early and addressing the threat quickly.” Kolli said.

With access to much-needed tools to help the fight against the fall armyworm threat, farmers in India are now able to join the community of fellow farmers in Sri Lanka and Thailand, where local agriculture authorities have also recommended the use of Spinetoram to combat the threat. Spinetoram is already in use on corn in countries including USA, Brazil, Columbia, Bolivia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, where farmers have managed to control the impact from the pest through early intervention.

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