DENVER & Research Triangle Park, NC –May 5, 2020 – Wilbur-Ellis, a recognized leader in precision agriculture, crop protection, seed, nutritional and biological products, in cooperation with Vestaron Corporation, announced today a distribution agreement to semi-exclusively distribute SPEAR-LEP, an innovative bioinsecticide manufactured by Vestaron.
SPEAR-LEP® is a peptide-based bioinsecticide that has the superior safety profile of a biological product, but with the efficacy and specificity of a synthetic product for broad spectrum lepidopteran control on tree fruit, nuts, vines and vegetables. Acting at the same receptor but different site as neonicotinoid & Spinosad chemistries, this IRAC Group 32 biological product offers a novel mode of action and an incredible resistance management tool for the stewardship of certain major synthetic chemistries while still allowing growers to maintain biological safety profiles and control lepidopteran pests in their apple and almond orchards.
Jesse Rosales, key actives and biopesticides portfolio manager for Wilbur-Ellis, said, “We evaluated SPEAR-LEP® in several apple and almond field trials in 2019 and were very pleased with the results. Our salespeople and growers were particularly interested in the potential for a biopesticide without MRLs (Maximum Residual Levels) that is able to be used close to harvest or in the peak of the season, in order to save some of their heavier chemistries.”
SPEAR-LEP® has been evaluated in 60+ field trials across North America and has consistently controlled pests equivalent to mainstream synthetic chemistries. SPEAR-LEP® carries many of the same features of biopesticides such as a 0-day Preharvest Interval (PHI), 4-hour Restricted-Entry Interval (REI) and Caution signal word.
Said Rosales, “SPEAR-LEP® is the kind of biopesticide we think can enter mainstream ag in the almond and apple markets. We’re looking forward to our continued evaluation and sales in 2020.”
Vestaron Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ben Cicora said, “Vestaron sees this new partnership with Wilbur-Ellis as a critical milestone for our U.S. commercialization efforts with Spear-Lep®. Growers are looking to Wilbur-Ellis for new progressive solutions in these markets and Spear-Lep® is the first of many new active ingredients in the coming years.”
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About the Wilbur-Ellis Companies
Founded in 1921, the Wilbur-Ellis companies are leading international marketers and distributors of agricultural products, animal feed and specialty chemicals and ingredients. By developing strong relationships, making strategic market investments and capitalizing on new opportunities, the Wilbur-Ellis companies have continued to grow the business with sales now over $3 billion. wilburellis.com
Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness generates more than $2 billion in sales revenue annually and has over 160 branch locations throughout the U.S. ag.wilburellis.com
Vestaron is a company dedicated to improving the safety, efficacy and sustainability of crop protection through migration from synthetic pesticides to peptide-based biopesticides. Vestaron is initially focused on a class of peptides that kill insect pests efficiently, but are safe for humans, beneficial insects and the environment. As part of this, the company has developed a proprietary platform for peptide optimization, fermentation-based peptide production that will allow it to develop a wide variety of biologic crop protection solutions. Vestaron is the winner of the inaugural 2015 Bernard Blum Award for novel biocontrol solutions and a 2020 THRIVE Top 50 Growth-Stage honoree.