Results from 13 months of testing could see the end of chemical use in grain storage – instead to be replaced with a natural compound found in Australian eucalypt trees
Atrial conducted by Aussie agtech Bio-Gene and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) shows that Bio-Gene’s Flavocide natural insecticide derived from a compound found in Australian eucalypt trees can control the most common pests found in stored grain.
The company and DAF tested Bio-Gene’s Flavocide against the Lesser Grain Borer in grain silos over 13 months, a time considered a key industry standard for any new grain protectant, and found the product successfully controlled the pest.
It’s a major milestone for the company and for the industry because pest resistance is a huge problem in Australia and around the world where losses of up to 70% of grain in storage have been reported.
Up until now there has been very few alternatives to chemicals that several groups claim have been increasingly found to be having a devastating effect on the environment.
A study that scared many consumers away from pesticides came out earlier in 2020 from the Imperial College London, it showed the terrible impact of pesticides on baby bee brains.
The company behind these tests, Bio-Gene Technology Limited has tasked itself to find the next generation of novel insecticides, to address insecticide resistance by replacing current chemical formulas.
Bio-Gene announced trial results that confirmed Flavocide, a natural insecticide derived from a compound found in Australian eucalypt trees had successfully controlled the Lesser Grain Borer over a 13-month period.
Commenting on the 13-month trial results, Bio-Gene CEO Richard Jagger said, “The trial program that began in January 2019 was designed to confirm Flavocide was able to control the most common stored grain pest in Australia; the Lesser Grain Borer.
“The residual efficacy over 13-months is highly encouraging because it further strengthens the commercial viability of our technology in stored grain.
“This data suggests that industry participants will have more flexibility over viable storage periods for grain, to allow for the optimum time for use or shipment, which can ultimately deliver more value.
“These data points serve as an excellent basis for the collaborative trial program which began in January this year with BASF, DAF and the GRDC that is assessing our technology against a full range of pests,” he concluded.
Dr Manoj Nayak, leader of the Postharvest Grain Protection Unit within DAF, who undertook the Flavocide testing program with Bio-Gene said.
“These trial results show that Flavocide provides residual control of F1 adult progeny in bioassay assessments of both laboratory and field stored wheat over an extended period of 13 months and this is very positive for the industry.
“This data provides a solid platform for the expanded collaborative project with BASF and GRDC and to further progress the Flavocide testing program.” he concluded.
The next trial program includes collaboration with BASF, DAF and GRDC, aims to determine the optimum combination of Flavocide with other chemical groups.
This trial has the aim to generate commercial products for protection of grain from the full range of major grain storage pests.
Currently there is no single chemistry that controls all major pests that impact stored grain. The incidence of pest resistance is rising in Australia, and around the world. In some cases, losses of up to 70% of grain in storage have been attributed to pests.
Flavocide has the potential to create products that will enable control of the full range of pests including pests resistant to other classes of chemistry.
The introduction of products with a novel Mode of Action, such as Flavocide, is critical for pest management in stored grain to reduce the potential of increased insecticide resistance in the future.
See the Bio-Gene website at: www.bio-gene.com.au