30 November 2001

Inert dust in place of Actellic

GROWERS banned from working the OP insecticide Actellic (pirimiphos-methyl) into the surface layers of stored grain could soon use dust from fossilised water plants as an effective alternative.

Dalgety hopes to launch a new product at next weeks AgriVision event, says the firms Peter Corbett.

"There is obviously a massive problem with the withdrawal of the approval of Actellic for surface treatment," says Mr Corbett. "We hope we can soon offer a replacement to be used as part of an integrated approach to pest control."

The non-poisonous desiccant dust is effective against mites and insects in long-term storage, according to work by the Central Science Laboratory. PSD has also indicated that the purely physical control product need not face the chemicals approval process.

Direct comparison by CSL suggests the new dust could be five to 10 times more expensive than Actellic when used as a surface treatment. But much depends on how the product is used, says Mr Corbett.

"If you have a very deep bin with a relatively small [surface] area it could be extremely cost-effective. Obviously with a shallower flat store it is going to be more expensive. But if there is no alternative?" &#42