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Residue-free assistance for pepper producers in Almeria

Spod-X has been approved for protected pepper production in Spain

One of the main pest problems in the production of peppers under glass in the Almeria region of Spain is Spodoptera exigua and the lack of effective insecticides permitted under IPM protocols has made it a particular challenge for integrated control strategies.  The approval of Spod-X, a new product from Certis Europe in Spain, with special authorisation for use in protected pepper production (under the IPM programme of the Council of Andalucia from the 20 September 2007 to 20 January 2008), has therefore been welcomed by growers.

Spod-X is a bioinsecticide made from occlusion bodies of the Spodoptera Exigua Nuclear Polihedrosis Virus (SeVPN) and registered in the USA and Holland.  Trials have shown the product to be a valuable asset in the development of integrated control strategies for Spodoptera exigua, not only because of its efficacy and selectivity, but also for its compatability with other biological insecticides, in particular bacillus thuringensis, such as Turex WP.

Up to three treatments of Spod-X are permitted with applications every 7 to 14 days. Stored at +4°C, Spod-X can be kept for 6-12 months and activity is maintained indefinitely if the product is frozen.  It should be used as part of a control programme, on detection of new Spodoptera exigua eggs or when plants are shooting.  Spod-X acts by direct contact during foliar application or through ingestion and, for best results, should be applied when temperatures are low, early in the morning or in the evening.

A major advantage for the product is that it leaves no residues on fruit and has a zero harvest interval so growers can use it with confidence on peppers for national and international markets.