Apple, pear growers get new codling moth killer

A naturally occurring virus, used commercially for years in the U.S. to kill a major orchard pest, is now available for use against codling moth in Canada.

Engage Agro, a Guelph company distributing minor-use pesticide products for specialized crops, has signed on as the Canadian distributor for CYD-X, an insecticidal virus marking the first Canadian registration for Maryland-based biopesticide maker Certis USA.

“CYD-X will enable and provide the apple and pear grower with more options to control codling moth larvae,” Tim Damico, Certis’ vice-president for the NAFTA region, said in a release Tuesday.

The product, he said, offers those fruit growers “a sound resistance management strategy, ability to manage residue limits and (to) preserve the environmental integrity often found in an integrated pest management system.”

CYD-X’s active ingredient also gives growers flexibility, Don Surgeoner, commercial sales manager for Engage Agro, said in the same release. “They can use it for organic production, in IPM programs, or use it tank-mixed in a conventional control program,” he said.

The product’s cydia pomonella granulovirus, which infects and kills the larvae of the codling moth, is also “host-specific,” Engage Agro said, meaning it doesn’t infect beneficial insects, fish, wildlife, livestock or people.

Apart from apples and pears, CYD-X’s registration in the U.S. also covers it for use there on plum and walnut trees.

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