For the first time ever, pheromones can be used in large-scale row crops in fields
Pheromone-based mating disruption has been used for years with great results in specialty crops – small-acreage but high-value crops such as berries, apples and greenhouse crops. BioPhero is now enabling their use in large-acreage row crops.
Two technological barriers have prevented mating disruption from going big. Lack of suitable dispensing technologies is one of them. It’s all very well to manually place blobs of pheromone or stationary dispensers throughout a small crop, but any commercial corn farmer would laugh at such a time-consuming idea. However, several companies are now developing application formulations and methods based on agricultural sprayers and drones.
The other barrier has been solved by BioPhero: the cost of the pheromone. Pheromones have traditionally been produced by chemical synthesis, a complicated and expensive process, which have made the use of pheromones unviable in row crops. After all, row crops are low-value bulk crops grown in large fields with a strong focus on economies of scale.
BioPhero uses a unique yeast fermentation technology to mass-produce pheromones at a cost that can compete with conventional pesticides. This means that mating disruption can now be applied in row crops.