Harvesting high yields and protecting biodiversity – these are two key issues in progressive farming that focus on a sustainable tomorrow and food sovereignty for future generations. The responsible use of crop protection products plays an important part in this. We want to support farmers in successfully meeting this challenge. In the process, we rely on contemporary solutions to combat pests in a natural way. For us, modern plant protection means working with nature instead of against it. One effective way to do this is to use pherolit®, our active ingredients that make it far more difficult for pests to locate conspecifics that are ready to mate. Mating disruption is already a well-established method of pest control in orchards and vineyards. Thanks to our revolutionary application technology, it is now possible to confuse harmful organisms in arable farming as well, and continuously reduce pest populations. pherolit®-d is an active ingredient we have developed that can make a significant contribution to stopping the rapid spread of the corn rootworm.
pherolit® – targets pests and conserves biodiversity
Effective crop protection eliminates pests without the risk of harm to beneficial insects. And that is the problem with broad-spectrum insecticides, because they are not able to prevent this kind of collateral damage. But what is the alternative? How can we stop the spread of pests without simultaneously destroying many other species and leaving behind residues in food products, the soil and the groundwater? Lithos Crop Protect’s answer is confusing! The key to confusion is pherolit® – a range of natural active ingredients that mimic the female sex hormone of the pest species to make it far more difficult for male conspecifics to find females that are ready to mate. As a result, species-specific pheromones really do target specific insects and effectively suppress pest invasions. Thanks to lithos micro dispenser® technology developed by Lithos Crop Protect, pherolit® active ingredients can be used on a large scale in arable farming to disrupt the mating of specific insect species. The effectiveness of pheromones for plant protection has been acknowledged since the 1930s. However, it was not until several decades later that intensive research in the science of insect attractants really took off. Meanwhile, the application of pheromones in orchards and vineyards has proven an effective method of pest control. In arable farming, on the other hand, this method was previously inconceivable. The costs involved in terms of the time required for personnel to evenly deploy and collect the dispensers, were always too high.
Spraying pheromones instead of deploying attractant dispensers
Using our patented lithos micro dispenser® technology as a carrier, it is now possible to apply pherolit® series pheromones in arable farming by using conventional, user-friendly spraying systems.
pherolit®-d is the designation of the first active ingredient in a series of treatments that stands for the target-specific pheromone of the female corn rootworm (8-methyldecan-2-ol-propionate). Lithos Crop Protect have developed the active ingredient, which is modelled on natural products, and are currently pursuing its notification as an active ingredient for crop protection in the EU and worldwide.
Many insects rely on olfactory communication, including the corn rootworm. To attract a male partner, the female beetle produces sex pheromones and releases them when she is ready to mate. The aim of recreating the chemical communication between a pair of beetles in the laboratory, is to produce synthetic odours that have the same effect.
An advantage of using of synthetic sex pheromones in crop protection is also their low application rate. Even extremely small amounts are sufficient to envelop a field of maize in a cloud of sex pheromone odour to confuse the males.
Lithos Crop Protect GmbH are working intensively on the EU and worldwide approval of pherolit®-d. During this work they have so far carried out a large number of studies that include toxicological testing.
Based on the approved, target-specific pheromone pherolit®-d as the key active ingredient, we are developing an effective, biologically safe and practical solution for the sustained and reliable control of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera in maize crops.