A new label recommendation for an existing pyrethroid will give cereal growers another option for tackling Orange Wheat Blossom Midge (OWBM) this summer, according to Syngenta.

The firms’ Hallmark Zeon can now be used specifically to target the pest and provides growers with a fully approved alternative to chlorpyrifos, it said.

“Many of the larvae from the massive midge attack in 2004 did not emerge last year and are still safely cocooned in the soil,” commented insecticide manger, Bruce McKenzie.

“If conditions are right in late May or early June this year, they will emerge with the potential to cause immense damage to susceptible varieties.”

The optimum time for applying Hallmark Zeon is immediately after the threshold numbers of adult egg-laying midges are found on the ears. ADAS entomologist, David Green, said this should be one midge or more per three ears on susceptible feed varieties, or one midge per six ears on milling crops.

“Crops are vulnerable to attack between ear emergence and the start of flowering (Growth Stage 51-59), with crops at GS 53-57 most susceptible,” he warned.

“Trials have shown that Hallmark Zeon provided acceptable control, providing the applications are well timed; furthermore the cost of treatment is lower than chlorpyrifos. It offers a useful alternative option for growers.”

Pheromone traps should be used to identify early adult activity and in-crop sticky traps could play an important role in timing applications, along with the growth of OWBM resistant varieties to reduce the impact of pest attacks, he added.