ISCA’s sustainable insect controls are penetrating the Latin America marketplace
Pheromones and other naturally-control compounds that modify insect behavior—collectively known as semiochemicals—are revolutionizing pest control in Latin America where much of the world’s food is produced.
Speaking at the Biocontrol LATAM conference, ISCA, Inc., CEO and founder Agenor Mafra-Neto on Thursday, Aug. 27, explained how semichemical-based insect controls are now becoming available not only to specialty crops, but to a much greater community of growers, including the farmers of row crops, such as corn, soybean, and cotton.
“This is a very significant development for Latin America, with Brazil and Argentina among the world top producers of corn, soybean, and cotton,” said Mafra-Neto, a citizen of both Brazil and the United States. “Latin America feeds the world, and we are helping protect that food supply without harming the environment by developing insect controls that use the safe compounds found in nature.”
Semiochemical formulations prevent targeted insect species from mating, repel them away from crops, or attract them to baits making insecticides significantly more effective and targeted.
Pheromone-based lures and traps have been used for decades to detect and track pest infestations in orchards that grow specialty crops, such as apples and pears.
ISCA, a green agtech company based in Riverside, Calif., however, has greatly advanced these technologies by making semiochemical pest control feasible for both specialty and row crops. ISCA has done so by bringing manufacturing costs down and developing biodegradable formulations that can be mechanically applied over large areas with tractors, airplanes, or drones.
ISCA has been a leader in the semiochemical pest control in Latin America through its subsidiary in Brazil, which has offices, laboratories, and manufacturing lines in the town of Ijuí located in the southeastern state of Rio Grande do Sul. ISCA registered and commercialized the first pheromone formulation for the mating disruption of orchard pests in Brazil.
A decade ago ISCA Brazil launched Anamed, a semiochemical attract and kill for the control of fruit flies, and Noctovi, which is one of the world’s first semiochemical formulations for the control of the major moth pests of row crops in Brazil, including soy, corn, and cotton.
ISCA is now launching SPLAT FAW in Brazil, a mating disruption control for the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), which is one of the world’s most damaging corn pests.
In Argentina, ISCA is controlling the European grapevine moth in the wine vineyards of the Mendoza Province. Since 2018, ISCA is protecting about a third of the wine country with aerially applied SPLAT Lobesia, which controls the damaging Lobesia botrana moth by preventing it from mating.
“A single pilot with a plane can apply tens of thousands of hectares in a single day, which before used to take several weeks and hundreds of people to do it.” Mafra-Neto said, “It is our way to support the thriving Argentinian wine industry with higher yields and healthier grapes to produce more of those amazing bottles of wine that we all enjoy.”
ISCA also has numerous other mating disruption and attract-and-kill semiochemical products to control pests of specialty crops, including apples, pears, berries, asparagus, tomato, avocado, and palm trees.
ISCA has active sales of semiochemical products across Latin America.
About ISCA: ISCA, Inc. is a green agtech company that provides the next generation of insect control products for world agriculture by harnessing the power of pheromones and other semiochemicals that manipulate the behavior of targeted insect species. ISCA’s insect control innovations are environmentally sustainable, cost-effective, and can be applied mechanically to both row and specialty crops. ISCA is headquartered Riverside, California, and has subsidiaries with offices and manufacturing facilities in the United States, Brazil, and India.
For more information or to set up an interview, please contact ISCA USA Communications Director David Danelski at (951) 850-0143 or ddanelski@ISCA.com.