Clarifications about using the insecticide Belt

Tree fruit growers can continue using the insecticide Belt during the 2016 growing season while decision to withdraw product is in review.

Michigan State University Extension has received recent calls about using the insecticide Belt in tree fruits. This insecticide is legal to be sold and used according to the Belt label. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asked Bayer Crop Sciences to voluntarily withdraw their registrations for flubendiamide-containing products, which includes the insecticide Belt. Bayer does not agree with the EPA’s decision to withdraw this product; the company has asked for a formal hearing before the EPA’s Administrative Law Judge. Bayer anticipates this decision will be finalized around the beginning of July. While this decision is in review, Belt can continue to be sold and used according to the label.

Belt provides excellent control of larval stages of Lepidopteran pests. Ingestion of Belt’s active ingredient causes the larvae to stop feeding and eventually leads to death of the pest. In MSU efficacy trials, Belt is rated excellent against codling moth, obliquebanded leafroller and oriental fruit moth.

Belt is in the diamide class of insecticides, which also includes Altacor and Exirel, other diamides that also work well against the aforementioned pests. Therefore, in the case of insects that have multiple generations per year, obliquebanded leafrollers and codling moth, we recommend using this diamide mode of action in either the first or second generations to minimize the potential of resistance development. We do not recommend using diamides targeting first and second generations.

In cherries, anecdotal evidence suggests this insecticide works better early and targeting the overwintering obliquebanded leafroller larvae at the petal fall timing rather than using Belt for second-generation larvae that come out at or near harvest time. Additionally, due to resistance and cross-resistance issues, belt is a good alternative to organophosphates or pyrethroids for obliquebanded leafrollers.

Drs. Rothwell and Wise’s work is funded in part by MSU’s AgBioResearch.

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