A New Tool for Hemp Growers

Vestaron’s Spear® LEP Bioinsecticide adds Hemp for Difficult to Control Lepidopterans

April 20, 2020 – (Durham, North Carolina) – With few products approved for use on hemp, Vestaron Corporation is pleased to announce that its Spear® LEP bioinsecticide has received EPA approval for adding Hemp to the label.

Spear LEP controls caterpillars, loopers, “worms” and other lepidopteran larvae with the safety and sustainability of biologicals, and with the performance and versatility of traditional synthetics. These pests are difficult to control for all growers, and the expanding hemp industry is addressing this issue head on as armyworms, corn earworms and others increase in pest status.

With an excellent safety profile for pollinators and other beneficials, Spear LEP also has a short 4-hour restricted-entry interval, a 0-day pre-harvest interval and is MRL exempt. Growers also benefit from Spear LEP’s novel mode of action, recently categorized as the first and only chemistry in the newest IRAC Group 32. When Spear is ingested along with a low label rate of a lepidopteran active Bt product, which disrupts the gut wall, the Spear peptide crosses into the body cavity to reach target sites in the nervous system. The combination of these characteristics makes Spear LEP a valuable new tool for the protection of high-value field crops, including hemp, and a safe and versatile rotation partner for IPM and insecticide resistance management programs.

“Adding hemp to the Spear LEP label opens doors for hemp growers to incorporate one of the newest and safest tools for managing troublesome lepidopteran pests,” explains Daniel Peck, PhD, field biologist for Vestaron. “Only a handful of products are currently labelled for use in hemp. Among them, Spear LEP stands out for its performance on par with conventional insecticides, its enviable safety profile, and its easy integration into any rotational program. It’s understandable why it might generate a lot of excitement.”

The label update for Spear LEP also includes tobacco as an approved crop. Spear LEP will be available as a go-to-solution in rotations for tobacco farmers, increasing their options in fighting resistance.