Agrochemical Updates

Agrochemical update August 2006

Biological control of locusts and grasshoppers using the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae

APVMA 55736
Green Guard SC Biological Insecticide is a Becker Underwood product containing Metarhizium anisopliae var. acridum spores. Green Guard SC is registered by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) for the control of nymphs of the Australian plague locust, Wingless grasshopper and pest grasshoppers in agricultural areas, pastures, crops, forage crops and non-crop areas. The APVMA has recently confirmed that crops is considered to include vineyards for this particular product.

How it works
The spores either land on the locusts and grasshoppers, direct from the spray, or are picked up as they move around feeding on sprayed vegetation. The fungal spores that attach to the insect germinate and the hyphae that emerges penetrates the cuticle (the outer skeleton of the insect). The fungus then develops inside the body eventually killing the insect.

Restriction on use for export grapes: Use no later than 7 days prior to harvest (temporary).

The reason for a temporary recommended restriction on use
Although it is unlikely that Green Guard SC will be required late in the season, fermentation studies will be conducted in the 2006/2007 vintage to ensure that a seven day withholding period will have no detrimental effects on fermentation. Typically biological preparations such as this are exempt from the requirement of a tolerance. However, this has yet to be confirmed with Australias major wine export markets.

This information is provided to inform the wine industry of agrochemical product information, and should not be interpreted as an endorsement.