History of commercial pheromone mating disruption technology
Way back in 1984, the first twist tie dispenser for controlled release of Oriental fruit moth was commercially released in Australia by a small innovative company called Biocontrol Ltd.
This product, with the brand name Isomate® M, was revolution in orchard pest management and a world first. It was followed by Isomate® C for codling moth and then Isomate® C/OFM.
These technologies were also world firsts. The Australian lead was followed in USA, then Italy, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, France, Spain, Portugal, New Zealand and now China. At the moment, more than 90% of the apples grown in the Pacific north west states of USA use mating disruption for management of codling moth.
Pheromone mating disruption has been accepted for a number of reasons:
- When used correctly, it can reduce target pest populations to zero.
- It is non-toxic and presents no risk to humans or wildlife
- It does not kill beneficial insects or stir up secondary pests such as two spotted mite and aphids.
- It leaves no residues on fruit
- One application lasts a season.
- Insect resistance to mating disruption using natural pheromone blends has not been observed anywhere in the world in more than two decades of continuous use.
Different kinds of pheromone dispensers
Hand applied dispensers
A range of hand applied dispensers are now on the market and other technologies such as ‘puffers’ are being used to some extent. Hand applied dispensers are considered to be the most effective system but among these, some products are better than others. At this stage, the old Isomate® type dispensers consisting of polythene tubes filled with liquid pheromone are the most widely used throughout the world. The trouble is, these dispensers are slow and labour intensive to apply, especially when trees are tall. Our Pheroklip® products match the old Isomate capillary type products products in loading and output and are faster and easier to apply.
Puffers are automated battery powered aerosol pheromone dispensers that release high quantities of pheromone in regular puffs. Several puffer presentations have been available for some years in USA but they are not widely adopted because many growers and research workers consider them to be less reliable than hand applied dispensers. Puffer dispensers are a significant capital investment. They have the advantage that few puffer stations per hectare are used. There is a concern that if one puffer ceases to function for any reason (theft, vandalism, mechanical or electronic breakdown, or a strategically placed earwig or bird poo) a large gap occurs in the pheromone cover. For very tall trees such as walnuts in USA (codling moth) and almonds (navel orange worm), puffers are probably the right presentation.
Sprayable pheromone formulations have not been successful when conventional cover spray technology is used. This is because pheromone mating disruption works by luring males away from females and toward powerful point sources. Overall diffuse air concentration is not relevant.
Pheroklip® – the intelligent pheromone clip dispenser
Smartgreen Bioscience has developed and registered the new Pheroklip® range of products. These include Pheroklip® CM, Pheroklip® OFM , Pheroklipi® C/OFM and BEE Pheroklip for bees and other beneficials.
In addition to the products for codling moth and Oriental fruit moth, Smartgreen Bioscience has released Bee Klipp dispenser containing volatile bee attractants.
These pheromone dispensers incorporate the best features of the old formulations – the same (or slightly better) pheromone purity, same loading, release rate and field life characteristics and use pattern as the Isomate® formulations and their Japanese equivalents now marketed in Australia.
The difference is that the Pheroklip® dispenser is far easier and faster to apply than the venerable old Japanese formulation. Its unique design allows fast easy application from the ground even in tall trees.
BEE Klipp® for attraction of honeybees
This product cannot create bees where there are none but it will make the ones that are there work more effectively for the fruitgrower.
It will encourage bees to focus on the flowers in the tree canopy in the vicinity of the dispensers and not on clovers in the ground cover or flowering weeds over the fence.
On cool overcast days at the critical time when the flowers are ready for pollination but the level of bee activity is low, this product improves bee searching activity. This makes a big difference to the level of fruit set.
Results of field trials done in pears near Shepparton showed 29.4% increase in fruit set per flower cluster and a 29.1% reduction in deformed fruit at thinning compared with untreated crops. In trials in California, we have seen 28.6% increase in nut set per flower cluster in almonds relative to untreated control.
Further, we have been able to incorporate an attractant for predators – lacewings and ladybirds – that can reduce the need to spray for aphids. For tree fruit crops where pollination is a factor limiting yield, BEE Klipp is a valuable tool.
Bee Klipp dispenser.
Pheroklip® is the generic name and trademark for Smartgreen’s range of controlled release dispensers. The dispensers were designed as a clip to make them easy and fast to apply.
Advantages of Pheroklip® products
- Effective as the best hand applied dispensers anywhere in the world
- Excellent quality
- User friendly
- Substantial cost saving
How to buy Pheroklip® products.
Although they are noble fellas, the Japanese suppliers and their resellers go to great lengths to keep out competitors and maintain high prices and margins. At the same time, they are no longer focussed on product improvements. For that reason, Smartgreen Bioscience manufactures to order and supplies direct to fruitgrowers.
If the price of the competitive products falls dramatically shortly after the introduction of the Pheroklip® range, email us a written copy of the quote and we will try to match the competition. If we cannot, we will let you know. If we cannot match the price, then send us a thank you note – we will have saved you money.
In Australia, BEE Klipp is sold through Bugs for Bugs
Contact David Loxley 0459 974 960 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact us by email and we can answer technical queries and provide information on prices and availability.
We have a special introductory offer (that we expect to keep going). Make a time and we can have a telephone discussion (Skype is cheapest).
For Australian and New Zealand business, contact Stephen Sexton:
Mobile: +86 139 5160 3338
(Stephen Sexton is an Australian agricultural scientist and entomologist. He was the founder of Biocontrol and originator of the Isomate® products worldwide. He is now the Principal Scientist of Sinogreen*.)
We are happy to mail you some Pheroklip® dispenser samples. Send us your mailing details from our Samples and Orders page.
*Smartgreen BioScience Pty Ltd is the Australian subsidiary of Nanjing Xinan Sinogreen Biological Technology Ltd. (Sinogreen), a biological technology company based in Nanjing in China.