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Canadian scientists help to develop new weapon in the war against wireworms

They live in soil, feed on roots, stunt plant growth and ruin crops. Wireworms, like cockroaches, are notoriously difficult to control, and their populations are increasing in farm fields across Canada. These pests, which are the larval stage of click beetles, are a common potato, corn and cereal crop pest.

For many years, farmers have struggled with limited options to control wireworms, leading to crop damage and loss. Now, thanks to support efforts from three Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research scientists, farmers have a new wireworm defence in their arsenal.

In October 2020, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) through Health Canada approved the registration of Broflanilide, the active ingredient in two new insecticides developed by BASF Canada Agricultural Solutions. Launched in January 2021, Teraxxa F4 is an insecticide-coated seed treatment that targets wireworms in cereal crops, such as wheat, and Cimegra is a liquid soil-level spray for potato and corn crops.

BASF has had long-running and successful partnerships with AAFC research scientists to support the research and development for new insecticide products. For the past eight years, three AAFC scientists, Dr. Christine Noronha in Charlottetown, PEI, Dr. Bob Vernon and Dr. Wim Van Herk in Agassiz, BC, have worked with BASF in the testing and research data collection for Teraxxa F4 and Cimegra. Their research is funded by BASF in partnership with the Government of Canada

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