Powerful, one-shot pest control in summer pulses
Skope insecticide, developed by ADAMA Australia, only became available for use in pulse crops last year and growers have been quick to reap the benefits.
Ideal for use in summer pulses, but also where sucking as well as chewing pest control is required in winter crops like faba beans, Skope contains 32.5 grams per litre of emamectin (Group 6) and 218g/L of acetamiprid, the first Group 4A active ingredient registered for sucking pests in summer pulses.
“Instead of tank mixing, it’s great to have a co-formulation of active ingredients to control a wide range of sucking and chewing pests in the one brew using a nice rate range. It’s the only product we are aware of that controls sucking and chewing pests in the one can,’’ said Jim O’Connor, Market Development Manager with ADAMA Australia for Queensland and the Northern Territory.
“An application of Skope at 160 millilitres/ha contains the equivalent emamectin as the maximum label rate of alternate insecticides, however it can be applied at up to 320mL/ha, so growers have the option to apply double the amount of emamectin on their crop with Skope if needed.
“It is a really robust rate range that is not available with any other product – you cannot get access to this rate range with another product.’’
As a result, in addition to avoiding tank mixing, the strong control provided by Skope can eliminate the need for later insecticide applications, also further improving its cost-effectiveness compared with alternate tank mixes that may be required.
Skope was originally registered for use in cotton, where it controls silverleaf whitefly, green mirid and green vegetable bug, as well as helicoverpa when required.
It is ideal for use in mungbeans, navy beans and soybean summer pulse crops in Queensland and Northern New South Wales. It provides control of helicoverpa, green vegetable bug and green mirid in mungbeans and targets bean pod borer and red banded shield bug in soybean.
Jim said the pests can cause devastating grain yield and quality losses.
“Growers rarely get through a season without a sucking pest spray and a helicoverpa spray,’’ he said.
“With summer pulses, sucking pest control is focused pre-flowering and then helicoverpa post-flowering, however you can have situations where sucking pest control also is needed in the post-flowering, helicoverpa window. You can also have helicoverpa present in the pre-flowering phase and they can be important to control for managing the population later, but mirids are the main focus in the early stage.’’
Jim said the Groups 4A and 6 active ingredients in Skope effectively provided an ideal rotation partner for insecticide programs, helping to relieve selective pressure for resistance particularly with Groups 28 and 22A insecticides.
“Certainly with helicoverpa, resistance is an issue we are aware of, with Groups 28 and 22A products developing some low levels of resistance in the field where they have been over-used. However, there has been no recorded field resistance to emamectin in helicoverpa armigeria (cotton bollworm) populations in Australia.’’
“So it’s a viable option to rotate Groups 28 and 22A insecticides with Skope and also get the benefit of sucking pest control from the co-formulation.’’
It is also highly compatible with a wide range of products. Jim said it was often applied with Veritas Opti for powdery mildew control in summer pulse crops, and to control ascochyta blight and botrytis in winter pulses.
When pest thresholds are reached, Skope should be applied with an adjuvant selected according to the primary pest targeted. It offers translaminar activity, while limited systemic activity reinforces the need for thorough spray coverage.
Higher pest pressure situations can be targeted with higher rates for faster knockdown and longer residual control.
Matt Skerman, Agronomist with Nutrien at Dalby in Queensland, recalled recommending the use of Skope last summer when threshold levels of helicoverpa, green mirid and green vegetable bug were identified in a crop of mungbeans.
The crop was at early flowering stage and Matt considered the two active ingredients in Skope would be “a good fit’’ to control all three species and allow opportunity to use alternate chemistry later in the crop cycle if required.
He said the insecticide worked well, resulting in a “clean check sheet’’ post-application, and, as the season continued, no further insect sprays were required. It was a pleasing result at a competitive price compared with alternate mixes that would have been required to treat the same population.
Matt said another benefit was the opportunity to reduce selection pressure on the commonly used Group 28 chemistry.
He said the result was very encouraging for the future use of Skope in summer pulse crops.