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International news in brief – January/February 2018

| February 20, 2018
  • UK: Drone technology benefits from the use of motion plastics



Effective pest control can often be difficult, especially if surrounding areas must be protected. The FitoStinger drone was developed for this purpose by the Technology & Advances Solutions (TSA) Centre in Spain. It is equipped with an extendable arm, which allows for precise spraying of pesticides, treating only the affected areas. Its lightweight design is partly attributed to motion plastics from Igus. The arm consists of an extremely light carbon rail, on which a solid plastic carriage travels. This keeps the overall weight of the drone to a minimum, while having the required robustness needed for use in the field.
For more information:



  • EU: SmartBiocontrol, a programme to identify alternatives to plant health

Following the success of the Phytobio project, 26 cross-border partners are partnering on the initiative of SmartBiocontrol to explore an alternative to chemical control in agriculture. After the Grenelle Environment Forum, France initiated the Ecophyto plan in 2008 to decrease its use of phytosanitary products by half, by 2025. Since 2005, Belgium has established federal programmes to cut biocides and pesticides. The European Regional Development Fund has provided EUR 170m to SmartBiocontrol, which involves a portfolio of projects, including Bioprod, Bioscreen, Biosens and Bioprotect. A high throughput screening platform will be established in Bioscreen to determine new molecules with antifungal activity, or induce plant resistance against phytopathogenic agents. The Bioprod project will produce these new biopesticides in industrial scale. As part of the Bioprotect project, new biocontrol products are assessed in fields or greenhouses. Under the Biosens project, a new generation of biochips will be formulated for real-time and in situ monitoring of pathogens and biocontrol products in the fields.

  • US: Neem oil products to target insect pests and fungal infections in the garden

Safer Brand, a producer of gardening supplies for organic growers, has launched two new neem-based products designed to help organic gardeners target mites, insects and fungal infections with just one spray, whether eggs, larvae or adults. Neem Oil RTU Spray (32 oz) is a ready-to-use spray that is compliant for use in organic gardening and helps fight insects and fungal infections. Neem Oil Concentrate (16 oz) is mixed to produce up to 16 gal of neem spray, which allows customers to treat vegetables, fruit, shrubs, trees and other plants. Neem Oil Concentrate is also compliant for use in organic gardening.
Source: Safer Brand, 2017.

  • IN: Becoming the global manufacturing hub for speciality chemicals

The speciality chemicals segment is vital in India’s chemical industry, which is presently worth $25b and has seen a 13% growth in the last five years spurred by domestic consumption. Stricter environmental regulations in developed nations and the weakening of certain segments by China, are supporting India’s export sector. Meanwhile, the Registration Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation of the European Union (EU) has made a significant impact on Indian exports. The impending implementation of Phase 3, on 1 Jun 2018, will determine the regulatory standards for chemicals delivered (at least 1 tonnes/y) to the EU. In the speciality chemicals market, agrochemicals are among the most attractive segments and India is currently the fourth biggest global agrochemicals producer following US, Japan and China.
Source: Chemical Engineering World, Nov 2017.

  • US: BASF to start production of its new fungicide for North America

BASF will produce its new fungicide active ingredient Revysol at its site in Hannibal. A regulatory dossier for the strategic proprietary compound was recently filed by BASF to authorities in Mexico, Canada and the US. The global registration initiative will continue in key Asian markets. Revysol fungicide is BASF’s newest triazole fungicide and trials have shown exceptional biological performance against several economically significant diseases. Pending regulatory approval, Revysol fungicide will be introduced to the North American market for the 2020 growing season

  • UK: BASIS PROMPT website offers enhanced user experience

Designed to put the organisation and its members firmly ahead in the digital stakes, BASIS PROMPT has ramped up its online presence with the launch of a new website. The new site was launched at PestTech in November 2017. Offering a range of special features and functions – all in a highly visual, engaging format, the site ( heralds a new era in online communications.

Lucy Cottingham, BASIS marketing and technical manager, said: “A key feature of the site centres around members’ ability to access information specific and relevant to them individually. Within a dedicated login area, members can check their CPD tally and each event they have attended. The facility also shows the total number of CPD points members need to collect. Another key area is the events section, which also has a user’s personal perspective built in. It allows members to use an interactive map, where they can type in their location and select how far they are willing to travel. This then brings up events within that radius.”

Other features include the BASIS PROMPT mobile app, as well as links to news, resources and important organisations. Lucy added: “The digital world is becoming absolutely critical to our members’ businesses and we have invested in the latest online features to ensure the website supports them accordingly.”

  • UK: 2018 rodenticide compliance for 11 farm assurance schemes

Eleven assurance schemes with combined memberships of 95,000 farm businesses will be compliant with the UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime for 2018. As a consequence, farmers presenting their membership document at sales outlets as proof of competence, will continue to be able to purchase stewardship-label professional rodenticides from January 2018 onwards. The audit standards of all 11 assurance schemes have been verified for compliance with stewardship conditions and the CRRU UK Code of Best Practice, which broadly require a systematic approach to rodent pest control, with documentation and regular independent audit procedures.

In parallel, sellers of professional use rodenticides to pest controllers, farmers and gamekeepers are required by 31 December 2017 to have registered for a stewardship point-of-sale audit. Administered by BASIS Registration, this requires authorisation holders (i.e. rodenticide manufacturers) to ensure UK sellers of their professional use products pass the audit and maintain this standard for the future.

Farmers outside the approved schemes have three rodenticide use options: (1) Take an approved training course and show the certificate when purchasing rodenticide. (2) Employ a certified professional pest controller. (3) Use rodenticide products authorised for amateur use.

The Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use UK reports to HSE and other Government Departments on rodenticide stewardship implementation. CRRU chairman Dr Alan Buckle says this combination of farm assurance and point-of-sale control helps ensure the entire supply chain is correctly implementing stewardship measures.
CRRU contact: Dr Alan Buckle, CRRU UK chairman,

  • BR: Adama to fund new factories

With plans to spend as much as $50m in new plants in Brazil, Adama plans to produce new active agrochemical ingredients that are presently imported from China. The investment will see the construction of a new plant in Taquari, Rio Grande do Sul. Recent changes with the Chinese pesticide regulations made several plant closures. The incoming Taquari plant will be launched in 2018, with two more plants intended for 2021, with a goal to increase Brazilian active principles production by 130% through 2022.
Source: Speciality Chemicals, Oct 2017

  • IS: Stockton going global

Botanical based crop protection producer, Stockton has clinched a commercialization and distribution deal with Syngenta Australia for an exclusive right to sell Timorex Gold, in Australia and New Zealand.

The product is a botanical broad-spectrum fungicide with preventative and curative activity based on a plant extract. In a separate move, the firm has successfully penetrated the European market after the Spanish Regulatory Agency awarded registration to Stockton for its biofungicide for the control of powdery mildew on courgette (zucchini) and cucumber. In November, Stockton also received the 1st Place Provider of Choice Award for Timorex Gold at the “Top 10 Global Leading Biopesticide & Biocontrol Brands” Award for 2017.
Source: mixed

  • BR: Embrapa develops biotech for nematodes

Two new technological actives – natural extracts from biofuels production residue and cellulose – has been developed by Embrapa. One of the actives acts as a nematicide that is especially effective against Meloidogyne. The firm is now seeking partners for the product’s next stage of development.

  • EU: Further concessions demanded on Bayer’s Monsanto purchase

It seems the EU is demanding additional concessions in the proposed EUR 56b acquisition of the US seed producer Monsanto by Bayer. The EU released a statement of objections which could lead to an obstruction for the merger. These further concessions would mean more conditions in addition to the announced divestment of a part of Bayer’s seed and herbicide business to its competitor BASF.

  • Global: Restructuring of the agrochemicals industry

The agrochemicals sector is facing substantial developments that are altering the industry structure and modifying the list of leading players. Much of the changes are occurring in the integrated plant protection segment through a combination of biological and chemical solutions and improved seeds. The worldwide crop protection market encountered difficulties in 2016.

A drop in prices of agricultural commodities in leading manufacturing centres, resulted in a 2.5% value decline in conventional crop protection chemicals. Overall agrochemical sales fell by 1.9% year-on-year from $57.53b to $56.45b. Sales of genetically modified (GM) seeds rose by 3.1%, but conventional seeds sales slumped by 4.9%. In total, seed sales declined by 0.7% year-on-year from $37.23b to $36.98b. Patented agrochemicals sales fell to a record low in 2016 to slightly under 20% of total sales (26% in 1995).

In contrast, generic product sales soared and covered nearly 60% of overall sales in 2016. In the near term, the generics market will continue to grow because of patent expirations and unavailability of new products. Among the patents that are set to expire are spirotetramat (2015 sales: $175m), flubendiamide (2015 sales: $480m) and pyraclostrobin (2015 sales: $850m).

Meanwhile, a series of mergers and acquisitions has significantly impacted the market. Mergers such as the DuPont-Dow AgroSciences combination are anticipated to increase consolidation in the industry. In total, the divestments represent a value of $2.5b. In one year, the industry’s six big players – DuPont, Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto, Bayer CropScience, ChemChina and Syngenta – will become the ‘Big Four,’ with a combined market share of nearly 78%.
Source: Chemical Weekly Dec 2017

  • FR: President to ban glyphosate in 3 years

French President Emmanuel Macron said in November he would take all measures necessary to ensure that weed-killer glyphosate is banned in France as soon as an alternative is available and at the latest within three years. Macron announced the move on Twitter after Germany defeated France in a tight vote in Brussels.

The EU vote cleared the use of glyphosate for the next five years after a heated debate over whether the weed-killer, originally developed by Monsanto, causes cancer. France had pushed for the whole EU bloc to renew the license for only three years. Despite the 5-year extension, EU rules allow France to unilaterally ban the substance. It has already decided to do so for private individuals in 2019.

“I have asked the government to take the necessary measures for the use of glyphosate to be banned in France as soon as alternatives are found, and at the latest in three years. #MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain,” Macron said in his Tweet. “Five years is too long,” Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot said on RTL radio, adding: “Three years seems to be a reasonable timeframe to get everyone on board.”

One French company, Osmobio has already formulated an herbicide based on active natural ingredients, called ‘Cleaner alleys pavements’, which are claimed would be as effective as glyphosate’. The company filed a dossier to the National Agency for Food Safety, Environment and Labor (ANSES) in 2014.

  • JP: Mitsui and BASF agreement for new insecticide with IRAC novel mode of action

Mitsui Chemicals Agro Inc (MCAG) and BASF SE announced on 7 Dec 2017 the signing of a long-term agreement for the commercialization of Broflanilide. This commercialization agreement follows the exclusive global licence and development agreement between the two companies that was announced in 2014 when MCAG granted BASF exclusive rights to market and sell Broflanilide products worldwide, excluding Japan and certain Asian and other countries where MCAG holds exclusive and/or co-exclusive rights. Broflanilide is a compound with a novel mode of action, demonstrating efficacy in the control of many problematic chewing insect pests, including caterpillars and beetles in speciality and row crops, and non-crop pests such as termites, ants, cockroaches and flies. It has potential use applications in cereals as a seed treatment for control of wireworms, as well as for foliar use in leafy and fruiting vegetables, potato, soybean, cotton, corn and legumes.

The active ingredient was discovered by MCAG and the co-development of the insecticide with BASF began in 2014. First market introductions of Broflanilide products are expected in 2020. The financial terms of this agreement were not disclosed.
Source: Mitsui Chemicals.

  • CN: Phasing out highly toxic pesticides

Agricultural authorities in China are speeding up the phaseout of highly toxic pesticides, announcing Dec. 5 that another 10 pesticides will be eliminated by the end of 2022. China will ban the production and use of aldicarb, phorate, and isocarbophos by the end of 2018; ethoprop, omethoate, methyl isothiocyanate, and aluminium phosphide by the end of 2020; and chloropicrin, carbofuran, and methomyl by the end of 2022. The move follows the State Council’s release of its Pesticide Management

Regulations that came into effect 1st June and a July announcement that it is prohibiting the use of pesticides endosulfan and methyl bromide as of the end of 2019. China may be aiming to achieve more regulatory alignment with the European Union as a way to make trade easier between the two economies, said Jose Carvalho, a Regulatory Affairs Manager at global chemical and pharmaceutical services provider Knoell Group. The bans will likely have limited impact on industry, as the 10 newly added pesticides marked for phaseout comprise only 1.4 percent of annual pesticide production in China, said Zeng Yande, director of the Ministry of Agriculture’s pesticide management office.

  • JP: Sumitomo invests in organic pesticide

Insecticidal pyrethrins supplier Botanical Resources Australia (BRA) and affiliated firms have been purchased by Sumitomo Chemical. The acquisition is part of the effort of Sumitomo Chemical to expand its life sciences operation.

  • AU: Bio-Gene completes $7.1M IPO

Melbourne-based Bio-Gene, an agtech development company enabling the next generation of novel insecticides to address insecticide resistance, was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in Nov, raising $7.1m in its Initial Public Offering (IPO). Bio-Gene Technology Limited, is described as a biotechnology company, engaging in developing insecticides / pesticides, in Australia. The company has two products, Flavocide and Qcide, which have shown to be highly effective for insect control management. These are potentially suitable for commercialisation in a number of target insecticide markets.

Bio-Gene Technology Limited has a research collaboration agreement with Queensland Department of Agriculture & Fisheries to assess the effectiveness of Flavocide, against a range of grain storage pests in laboratory and field evaluations. The company has signed an agreement with Virbac, a France-based multinational animal health company, as part of the commercialisation process, as well as manufacturing and formulation development programs with Australian and overseas-based contract manufacturing and formulation groups. The company was incorporated in 1995.

  • IT: 10th Italian Pest Control Conference

The 10th International Conference on Pest Control on the theme ‘Disinfestation 4.0: taking up the challenge’ will take place in Rome on March 21st and 22nd 2018 at the Antonianum Auditorium (via Manzoni, 1). The event is promoted by ANID with the support of supplier companies (Arysta, BASF, Bayer, Colkim, Ekommerce, Blueline, Copyr, Inpest, India, Enthomos, Spray Team, Typhon, Newpharm, Martignani, Orma, OSD, Vebi and PestNet). The scenario presented by the current state of the global economy is focusing companies to look at competitiveness, social impact, environmental sustainability and innovation and research.

Two days of presentations will seek to reflect on how companies can develop innovative strategies and in the present market.
For more information visit:

  • BE: Biobest invests in sticky business

Biobest announced in early January that it has acquired a majority stake in IVOG biotechnical systems GmbH. IVOG is among the world’s largest manufacturers of sticky traps and rolls, a key tool for growers to put in place a successful biological control strategy. In 1983, IVOG was the first commercial producer of sticky traps. Biobest and IVOG began their collaboration in 2001. This helped both parties build a prominent position as providers of high-quality sticky traps and rolls. Biobest’s equity stake in IVOG now consolidates this collaboration. It lays a strong foundation for both parties to remain on top of grower’s needs with competitive top-quality solutions and opens up new commercial opportunities.
For more information visit: and

  • US: Insect photographer bugged by pest control firm

A wildlife photographer who specializes in insects is demanding $2.7m from a pest-control business he accuses of using his work without permission. Alexander Wild, curator of entomology at the University of Texas-Austin, sued Innova Supply dba Solutions Pest and Lawn on copyright claims, seeking statutory damages of $150k per infringement. The pest-control company allegedly used 18 of his images.
Wild’s website features colour close-ups of a wide range of insects. Its home page includes an Image Use button, which states that his licensing fees “generally fall between $40 and $400 per image.” Schools can use the images for free, so long as they do not upload the images, and non-profit organisations can use them for free or at reduced rates, but only with permission.
To enjoy some of Alex’s images which we could not reproduce here for copyright reasons – see

  • Global: The first comprehensive treatment of bed bugs since 1966

Editors – Stephen Doggett, Dini Millar and Chow Yang Lee.

The Advances in the Biology and Management of Modern Bed Bugs updates and expands on existing material on bed bugs with an emphasis on the worldwide resurgence of both the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius L., and the tropical bed bug, Cimex hemipterus (F.). It incorporates extensive new data from a wide range of basic and applied research, as well as the recently observed medical, legal, and regulatory impacts of bed bugs.

Featuring contributions from 60 highly experienced and widely recognized experts, with 48 unique chapters, it aims to be a one-stop-source that includes historic, technical, and practical information, as well as serving as a reference book for academic researchers and students alike.

  • And Finally…USA: Managing the invasion of the vampire fish

Known as sea lampreys, or vampire fish, Petromyzon marinus is a bizarre-looking parasite that attacks fish populations in North America. With an eel-like body without paired fins and a jawless mouth filled with sharp teeth arranged in concentric circular rows, it attaches to the side of fish and then it uses its tongue to drill a hole through the fish to suck body fluids. The fish has the dubious distinction of possibly being the first destructive invasive species in North America.

The parasites are thought to have entered the Great Lakes in the 1830s through the Welland Canal in Ontario, Canada. Since then they have quickly spread, and by the 1950s they became the region’s most destructive invasive species. Left unchecked, a single individual will reportedly kill up to 20kg of fish a year and tend to kill six out of seven fish they attack.

Management of the infestation comes under the tasks undertaken by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission which was established by US and Canadian wildlife authorities. Currently, in order to curtail the species, a chemical TFM (3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol) is placed upstream where the lamprey spawn. TFM is a common piscicide, discovered the year IPC was first published (1958) and it currently remains the primary lampricide in the Great Lakes area.

Published in International Pest Control – January/February 2018 issue

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Category: International Pest News, news in brief

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