28 August 1998

Safer insecticide here

A NEW formulation of insecticide available this autumn promises more effective use of active ingredient and safer operator use, says manufacturer, Cyanamid.

Contest (alphacypermethrin) uses a soluble micro-tablet formulation, which gives better distribution across the leaf surface, says product manager, Jonathan Abbott.

Work by Martin Ford, professor of applied biology at Portsmouth University, seems to confirm this. Other formulations tend to form patchy deposits, so insects can receive variable doses, he says. "The new formulation is almost like laying a carpet over the leaf surface."

That means pests are likely to receive a lethal dose more reliably than with other contact acting insecticides, he says.

University field trials in rape also demonstrate better persistency than emulsifiable concentrates. "100% mortality was maintained for seven days and remained over 95% for a further three days," he notes.

No solvent is required in the new formulation, and the effervescent tablets dissolve completely in three minutes in the spray tank. That means no solvent vapours which may harm operators or provoke odour complaints from the public, says Mr Abbott.

Contest is approved for use on winter wheat, winter barley and spring and winter rape. The company hopes to add sugar beet and potatoes. Fastac, the emulsifiable concentrate formulation of alphacypermethrin will remain available, for this autumn at least.

Price has not been finalised, but will be competitive with other premium pyrethroids such as Hallmark (lambda-cyhalothrin), says Mr Abbott. &#42

Soluble tablet formulation means this 1kg pack of Contest insecticide can treat up to 15ha of autumn cereals.