Agribusiness: EPA registers Belt insecticide

Corn, cotton and tobacco growers will have a powerfully effective new worm management tool available this season. Belt SC insecticide (flubendiamide) from Bayer CropScience has been registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for control of several economically important Lepidoptera species.

According to Bayer CropScience, the material will provide rapid feeding cessation as well as long-lasting residual control for better overall protection of crop value, all without disrupting Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs.

Belt contains a new active ingredient from a new chemical class, the phthalic acid diamides, and provides a mode of action that acts differently against target pests compared to conventional materials.

In addition to several row crops, Belt is also registered for use on pome and stone fruits, tree nuts and grapes. State registrations of Belt are pending, with many, including California, expected to be approved within the next month.

“The product’s new mode of action disrupts the calcium balance within insect muscle cells, leading to a rapid cessation in feeding as well as paralysis of target pests,” explains Steve Krueger, insecticides product development manager for Bayer CropScience in the United States. “And because Belt shows no cross-resistance to conventional insecticides, this unique new active ingredient will help manage resistance potential in armyworm, tobacco budworm and corn earworm populations.

“As a global leader in the insecticides market, we are pleased to offer an innovative active ingredient with a new and novel mode of action”, says John Smith, insecticides business unit manager for Bayer CropScience in the United States. “We believe Belt will be an important and needed tool to these important permanent and row crop markets."

The biological characteristics of Belt make it excellent for IPM compatibility, while posing little risk to beneficial insects. Another benefit for growers is that the mode of action of this new active ingredient means that it can also be used to combat pests that are resistant to certain conventional insecticides from the pyrethroid, organophosphate, carbamate and IGR-type chemical groups.

The active ingredient in Belt received approval from Chile, India, Japan, Pakistan, and the Philippines in 2007. Beyond the United States, additional global launches are anticipated in 2008 for Canada, Brazil, Columbia, Australia and New Zealand.

For more information on Belt, growers should visit their local Bayer CropScience retailer or local sales representative, or visit

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