Met52 Granular for vine weevil control is available again

Met52 Granular for vine weevil control is available again 

Met52 Granular is a biological insecticide/bioinsecticide for the control of the larvae of black vine weevil (Otiorhynchus spp.) in ornamental plant production, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, blackcurrant, gooseberry, redcurrant and whitecurrant crops both under protection and outdoors. It’s been on the market for five years but biopesticide specialists Fargro experienced supply issues last year. Happily Met52 Granular is back in stock for 2017. 

 Met52 Granular contains a specific strain of a naturally occurring soil fungus that infects and ultimately destroys the vine weevil larvae. It’s a contact acting product that requires that the pest spend time in the treated media in order to be effective. It should be incorporated pre-planting into growing media in container crops or into the soil in open ground situations. Maelor Forest Nurseries have been using Met52 as part of an IPM programme since its launch in 2011, both in propagation and the open field. Imam Sayyed admits that he was initially surprised at how effective products such as Met52 can be. “We do not look at biopesticides as a soft option anymore,” he said. “Not only is it effective but it makes life easier too. The positive side of incorporating Met52 in propagation is that I can apply a treatment in the morning and workers can go in later in the day without risk of exposure. We could not do that with conventional chemicals”. 

Five seasons of experience with Met52 has shown that Met52 is best used within an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programme in partnership, when necessary with other control measures. There are no longer any 'silver bullet' standalone solutions, the highly persistent chemical options of the past will not be returning. Fargro’s Technical Manager Dr Josh Burnstone says "Met52® Granular must be incorporated at every potting operation for containerised crops or to a depth of 5cm for field-grown crops".

As a biological product that has demonstrated excellent efficacy in the right environmental conditions, Met52 will form the backbone of an IPM programme. It provides an effective long term control of vine weevil larvae in the growing media. However, Met52 alone cannot deliver 100% control of vine weevil, particularly outside in the early spring and the autumn when temperatures are lower and biological products act more slowly so supplementary treatments may be necessary in some cases. 

By Joanna Wood