IBMA Announces Three Products Shortlisted for the 2018 Bernard Blum Award


IBMA has announced three shortlisted products or the Bernard Blum Award in 2018: Fyto Fend, Marrone Bio Innovations and Plant Health Products.

bernard blum3Fyto Fend for the product COS-OGA, is efficient in the control of plant diseases caused by Oomycetes and fungi. The commercial formulation FytoSave® contains 12.5 g/L of COS-OGA and is registered in Europe for the control of powdery mildews on vegetables including Solanaceae, cucurbits but also small fruits (strawberry, blackberry and raspberry), roses, bulb flowers, herbs and aromatic plants. On grapevine, FytoSave® is registered against powdery mildew (Erysiphe necator) but also against downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola). Novel uses of FytoSave® will soon include protection against rice blast (Pyricularia oryzae), apple scab (Venturia inaequalis) and black leaf streak disease of banana (Pseudocercospora fijiensis).

Marrone Bio Innovations for a range of products based on a new species of non-living bacteria, Burkholderia rinojensis, discovered by Marrone Bio Innovations, produces several natural compounds (some known, but not as pesticides, and some novel) with pesticidal activity that work together to control a broad range of pests and weeds. MBI has developed a manufacturing process that minimizes the herbicidal compounds for Majestene and Venerate, while a different manufacturing process maximizes the herbicidal compounds to create MBI-014 bioherbicide. The efficacy spectrum is very broad on the pests, but it is non-toxic or low risk to non-target organisms. It is non-toxic to honeybees and does not affect pollination. We do not know of another microorganism where multiple products have been developed across such a broad range of targets – weeds, insect, mites and nematodes. Bacillus thuringiensis with its many strains and subspecies is the closest example, but Bt does not cross this many groups of pests and weeds.

Plant Health Products for the product ECO-NOC, a microbial bioinsecticide which targets lepidopteran pests, especially from the Noctuidae family (Boucias and Pendland, 1984). This group includes economically important pests such as the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) and African bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera), as well as other Spodoptera spp. These lepidopteran pests infest a range of field crops such as maize, soybean and wheat. Many of these crops are staple foods in Africa and other parts of the world (FAO, 1995). The recent accidental introduction of fall armyworm into Africa has massive implications for food security on the continent. Eco-Noc provides an ecologically sustainable and environmentally safe pest control product that can also be incorporated into Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programmes to mitigate the impact of the fall armyworm. Although there are other products based on Metarhizium anisopliae that are available globally, this will be the first product to use the species Metarhizium rileyi (previously Nomuraea rileyi). This species is very different from other Metarhizium species in that it is more specific to its insect hosts. In addition, the species is more difficult to grow in culture and mass produce (Song, 2013). Scientists at Plant Health Products have developed unique methods to overcome these challenges and in so doing can successfully produce Metarhizium rileyi fungal spores for use as the active ingredient in the product.

New Ag International wishes all candidates best of luck! IBMA will award a trophy, interview and product placement in New Ag International and 2BMonthly publications, as well as complementary registration for ABIM 2018 and the 3 shortlisted finalists will have a poster to display their innovations at ABIM 2018, the premier global biocontrol industry event that will take place in Basel 22-24 October!

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