Bionema Ltd, a biopesticide technology developer, has launched a biocompatible wetting agent – NemaSpreader® – that increases the efficacy of beneficial nematodes up to 30%.
NemaSpreader® is a specialist wetting agent that helps beneficial nematodes to spread and thrive, with the aim of controlling soil and foliar insect pests. Having proven its efficacy as part of Bionema’s unique solution of NemaTrident® nematode products. NemaSpreader® is now available as a stand-alone wetting agent for biopesticide solutions.
With the ecological consequences of food production and agricultural practices coming under increased scrutiny, there is growing public and government support for natural alternatives to harsh chemical pesticides. Biopesticides are one alternative – these products are created from highly virulent strains of naturally occurring microorganisms – including beneficial nematodes (e.g. Heterorhabditis and Steinernema species) that attack and destroy the larvae of insect pests. They are safe, non-toxic to users and consumers, and can be targeted at specific pests to avoid harming beneficial insects.
NemaSpreader® has been incorporated as the ‘soil conditioning’ part of Bionema’s unique solution of NemaTrident® nematode products for natural insect pest control since 2017. It improves the water holding capacity (moisture) of soil/growing media and encourages maximum dispersal so the nematodes are better able to find, attack and control insect pest larvae. In field trials conducted over 2 years on golf courses, sports fields, lawns, soft fruits, ornamentals and forestry it enhanced the performance of beneficial nematode species, leading to 20-30% higher control than existing products on the market.
Dr Minshad Ansari, Founder and CEO of Bionema, said: “Our unique solution, which includes NemaSpreader® wetting agent, a highly virulent strain of beneficial nematodes, and specialist training and advice for our customers, provides an effective and versatile approach for controlling a range of insect pests, including chafer grubs, black vine weevil, leatherjackets, mole crickets, caterpillars, cutworms, etc.”
NemaSpreader® is formulated with polyglycol-based surfactants and soil penetrants, and it is compatible with beneficial insect-parasitic nematodes. Many wetting agents commonly used are unsuitable for use in combination with active biopesticides. Therefore, as the market for biopesticides grows in response to public and policy demands, so will the need for products such as NemaSpreader®, which have proven biocompatibility.
Dr Ansari added: “Leveraging new bioprotector technologies is key to addressing consumer demand for growers to eradicate the use of harsh chemical pesticides in crop production. As well as developing our own range of biopesticides based on beneficial nematodes and insect-killing fungi. We support other companies in the development and commercialisation of novel bioprotection products. Launching NemaSpreader® as a standalone wetting agent adds to the many ways in which we already support other innovators, by allowing us to offer a wetting agent that is broadly compatible with a number of biopesticide solutions.”