Corteva to dump chlorpyrifos products

Corteva to dump chlorpyrifos products

Cropping News
Red legged earth mites are one of the range of pest species controlled by chlorpyrifos-based insecticides.

Red legged earth mites are one of the range of pest species controlled by chlorpyrifos-based insecticides.

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Corteva will stop making popular broad spectrum chlorpyrifos-based herbicides such as Lorsban, citing decreasing grower demand.

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FARM chemical manufacturer Corteva Agriscience will start phasing out insecticide products featuring the active ingredient chlorpyrifos by the end of the year.

Corteva, formerly a part of Dow Dupont, has made the decision at a global level, due to what it describes as decreasing grower demand for broad-spectrum insecticides.

In Australia, Corteva's best known chlorpyrifos-based products include Lorsban and Cobalt.

Lorsban and other similar generic products are still widely used in Australia, often as a pre-sowing option to control pests such as wireworm and army worm.

However, Corteva Australia New Zealand managing director Rob Kaan said the business would begin phasing out the production of the products by the end of the year.

He said the market for broad spectrum organophosphate products, such as chlorpyrifos, was falling as growers move towards more sustainable and targeted insecticide products.

Chlorpyrifos is still registered for use in Australia, but has come under attack in the past from lobbyists who claim it should be banned due to potential human health concerns.

Brett Hosking, Grain Growers chairman, said growers would still have the opportunity to use chlorpyrifos products made by other companies.

"The important thing to note is that the active ingredient remains registered with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and farmers have other options if they want to use it," Mr Hosking said.

"Corteva has made a commercial decision which is their right, but there will be demand for broad spectrum products that can fill similar roles to what Lorsban did," Mr Hosking said.

Mr Kaan said chlorpyrifos was a valuable insect control tool, but that it did not fit into the company's long term strategy.

There has been a push away from the use of broad spectrum products into more targeted chemicals to allow beneficial insect numbers to build up and help control problem species.

Mr Kaan said there was not a direct replacement for chlorpyrifos in all Corteva's markets the company would continue to move towards more sustainable chemistry.

He said the company had other options in the insecticide space in Australia.

"We have a number of established insecticides with excellent profiles such as Success, Neo and Transform and we are currently awaiting the registration on a new organic insecticide called Entrust Organic, scheduled to be launched by the end of 2020."

The company has defended chlorpyrifos' safety and said it had been a long term solution to insect management.

"Chlorpyrifos has served a unique and vital role in global agriculture since 1955, we will manage our existing inventories of chlorpyrifos products through 2020 to meet our customers immediate demand and allow them to transition to other chlorpyrifos suppliers and / or towards more sustainable targeted insecticide products," Mr Kaan said.

The story Corteva to dump chlorpyrifos products first appeared on Farm Online.

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