A new version of an insecticide used to help protect corn, wheat grass and brassica crops has been approved by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
Bayer New Zealand’s Poncho Votivo is a seed treatment that will help control pests that can attack these crops.such as Argentine stem weevil, black beetle, greasy cutworm and parasitic nematodes.
It’s a reformulation of an already approved insecticide called Poncho and is applied to seeds at a treatment plant before they’re sown.
“What’s different about Poncho Votivo is that it contains a lower concentration of the neonicotinoid clothianidin, alongside a soil-dwelling micro-organism called Bacillus firmus. This is found naturally in New Zealand soil but has not been used before as an active ingredient in an insecticide,” says Ray McMillan, EPA’s Acting General Manager of Hazardous Substances and New Organisms.
After weighing the risks and benefits of Poncho Votivo following a public hearing in December 2015, the EPA’s decision-making committee approved its use and set specific controls to manage risks to people and our environment. It means those applying the insecticide must wear protective clothing and adhere to specific restrictions related to the rate, method and timing of application.
Mr McMillan said the combined insecticide had benefits for the New Zealand environment because it treats two types of pest at once and farmers are less likely to need a separate soil treatment.