Coming off a very weedy fall when farmers could not get out to do post-harvest weed control set us up for not only some very weedy challenges, but also created the perfect place for moths to lay eggs. That means plenty of farmers have been dealing with pesky cutworms this year, among other insect pests. One of the newest solutions – which is a bit of a game changer – is the new insecticide Coragen®.
This has become the only insecticide I recommend for larger insects (cutworm, grasshopper and swede midge). It only kills what eats it, making it less harmful to beneficial insects, and it’s safer than the alternatives for the humans handling it. You’re likely familiar with Lumivia™, which can be added to a fungicide seed treatment for cereals and lentils and contains the same active ingredient (Bonus: It’s not a neonicotinoid, which have come under fire lately.).
But here’s the part that will be a stumbling block for some people: It’s more expensive than the alternatives at $10-15 per acre. Compare that to competitor Matador® at $5-6 per acre.
It has residual action of seven to 21 days during which it stays on the plant and is still effective when eaten. Despite the residual timeline, it’s important that beneficials are still generally protected. Since we rely on beneficials for canola yield, it’s in our best interest to protect them. The reason it’s safer is that it’s not a contact insecticide. It’s applied to the plants, and it must be ingested to be effective. It actually locks the jaw of the insect so it can’t feed any longer, and it will starve to death.
Use Coragen for patch spraying, so you’re not wasting money on unaffected areas. Also spray in the evening, when grasshoppers and cutworms are typically feeding and beneficials are not as active.
Coragen’s pre-harvest interval is also extremely short at just one day. This may not seem important because you’re not likely to have to deal with these insects at or just before harvest, but it is an indicator of just how safe this product is.
In my experience so far, this relatively new product is worth the money you’ll pay for it in terms of performance and extra safety benefits.
*Always read and follow label directions.
Coragen is a registered trademark of FMC Canada. Lumivia is a trademark of Corteva Agriscience. Matador is a trademark of Syngenta Crop Protection Canada Inc.