Thrips provide a year-round threat for protected ornamental growers, causing damage and loss of saleable crops. However, a new biorational insecticide based on a botanical extract from neem trees (Azadirachta indica) is set to offer growers another tool in the armoury against the pest.
Azatin® is a new botanical insecticide for the control of thrips in protected ornamental, tree nursery and perennial crops, explains Selchuk Kurtev, Certis’ IPM Manager.
“Azatin® contains azadirachtin-A, derived from the refined oil of neem trees, native to South Asia. As it’s the first of its kind, it will be fundamental in anti-resistance management strategies in the UK going forward. The refined active ingredient and precise formulation contribute to an excellent crop safety profile too,” he says.
Azatin® is an insect growth regulator, halting development at the early growth stages. It is also an anti-feedant, which deters thrips from feeding on fruit, flowers and leaves, reducing blemishes and imperfections, and providing growers with more saleable crops.
“Although Azatin® isn’t harmful to many biocontrol agents, it can affect the mobility of macrobiologicals short-term. Therefore, application timings will be a key part of IPM strategies so that conjunctive biocontrol measures can be implemented.”
Azatin® can be applied at a maximum of 20 times per year at 1.4 L/ha per structure. Growers should aim for a maximum of five blocks of four applications, giving 42 days interval between each block and seven days interval between each application within the blocks.
“Always read the label to make sure you’re applying the most appropriate dose rates at the correct timings for optimum results,” concludes Mr Kurtev.