Get ready to target vine weevil eggs

With vine weevil adults soon to emerge and start egg laying, now is the time to plan ahead to apply the award-winning biorational Pitcher GR, says ICL’s Sales Development Manager – Martin Donnelly.

“This year the vine weevil’s annual life cycle has been delayed a little due to the cold weather,” he says. “In unprotected containerised stock the adults will begin to appear over the next two weeks or so.  All adults are females and they feed for 10-14 days before starting to lay eggs.  In outdoor production areas, this year we are looking at mid to late June for emergence and July onwards for egg laying.

“With the recent loss of Exemptor, all UK growers must learn to adopt an IPM approach to control this potential devastating pest,” says Martin. “Launched last year, Pitcher GR can play a valuable role suppressing the egg and early instar larval stages in containerised crops.”

This timely new tool is based on a stabilized from of garlic extract. When applied as a topdress to growing media, the active substance – Diallyl polysulphide – starts a cascade chain reaction causing the egg or instar to die due to overwhelming oxidative stress.

Unaffected by temperature fluctuations, Pitcher GR has no resistance issues, no re-entry limitations following treatments and has a very low impact on non-target organisms and the environment.

“It is important to understand that Pitcher GR is just one component of the IPM strategy for vine weevil,” stresses Martin. “ICL recommend using it in conjunction with Seeka beneficial nematodes in an integrated pest management (IPM) programme.

“Growers with one of our new bespoke ICL Plant Health Plans, receive timely reminders throughout the year to help them plan ahead and optimise plant health on their nurseries. Launched earlier this year, the Plant Health Planner is a digital web-based tool designed to both simplify and optimise plant health programmes on UK nurseries. In line with the Sustainable Use Directive, these Plant Health Plans also aim to help growers reduce their reliance on crop protection chemicals.”

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