New insecticide promises to take bite out of soybean aphids

Soybean growers will soon have a new tool in the fight against yield-robbing soybean aphids.

BASF expects to launch Sefina, a new insecticide it says will deliver control of aphids and white flies in soybean and potatoes, in 2019. BASF Canada horticulture crop manager Scott Hodgins explains that the new insecticide will deliver a unique mode of action from the pyropene chemistry class (Group 9D). It works by disorienting the insect, which then dehydrates and starves.

In soybeans, the foliar product can be applied during the R1 to R5 stage and will rapidly stop aphid feeding and give extended control for two to three weeks. Hodgins says Sefina can play a key role in resistance management strategies, and is also be pollinator and beneficial insect friendly.

“The nice thing about Sefina is it doesn’t have any activity on pollinators or beneficials. At the end of the effective window… we’ve protected those beneficials such as ladybird beetles,” says Hodgins. That leaves strong beneficial and predator populations to keep future aphid populations under control, he adds.

BASF is treating 2018 as a prelaunch year for the insecticide. Hodgins says the company will be establishing commercial scale research authorizations; working with cooperators to collect additional information on how Sefina works with their application equipment; as well as evaluating how it fits with cooperators’ aphid management strategies.

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