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Brassica veggie growers targeting improved pest control, yields, quality

3rd October 2023

Daniel Polson, Southern Market Development Manager - Horticulture with ADAMA Australia, said DBM, as well as some of the helicoverpa species, can present major challenges for growers in the region.


“These insect species have short life cycles, with populations increasing as the season warms, and they can rapidly develop a tolerance or even resistance to existing chemistry,” Daniel said.


“This becomes a major problem, as the early life stages of the moth is a caterpillar that grows in size through four stages. Early instars tunnel inside the leaf and, as they develop, they will then feed on the underside of leaves, contaminate cauliflower curds and broccoli florets and damage the heads of cabbage and brussel sprouts.


“Female moths can lay more than 150 eggs and there can be six to seven generations per year, which will overlap through the warmer parts of the season.”


He said there was strong pressure on growers to control the pests because market tolerance for feeding damage was very low and they had to deliver produce to a high standard. It must meet all fresh quality assurance controls, accreditations and compliances, including insecticide maximum residue limits.


ADAMA Australia has been working alongside brassica growers in various regions to demonstrate the performance of its Plemax® insecticide against DBM and how best to use it in their spray programs.


Plemax has introduced a new mode of action, novaluron (Group 15), in combination with the trusted strength of indoxacarb (Group 22A) for tackling chewing pests in brassica as well as leafy and fruiting vegetable crops.


Indoxacarb already is a widely used knockdown insecticide and its unique combination with novaluron, a slower mode of action insect growth regulator (IGR), has improved treatment efficacy and reduced the risk of resistance developing. Both also have similar residual activity and rainfastness, further increasing the likelihood of target pests ingesting the active ingredients.


Daniel said the indoxacarb in Plemax acted quickly to stop pests feeding and causing damage, while the residual properties of novaluron acted on eggs and instars hatching after spraying, so early season applications were ideal.


“With the novaluron sitting on the leaf, as they feed it stops them from metamorphosising into the next larva stage.”


He said Plemax now allowed growers extra options to rotate insecticides, to improve the effectiveness and longevity of existing products used in their programs, and to prevent insect populations from developing resistance on their properties.


“Growers can combine Plemax in programs with other chemicals to achieve long-lasting control throughout the season. Crop safety and compatibility was an important part of its testing and there were no problems with its compatibility with other insecticides and fungicides or its phytotoxicity with the crops on label.”


For the month of October 2023, receive double points on all purchases of Custodia Forte, Trivor and Plemax from ADAMA.* And get one step closer to joining ADAMA and Nutrien Rewards for an Unforgettable Study Tour to the USA. Find out more about the Study Tour here**



For further information on Plemax insecticide, growers can contact their local ADAMA Australia representative or visit


Photo 2: 

Untreated control Hole damage in leaves caused by diamondback moth in an ADAMA Australia insecticide trial at Werribee in Victoria.


Photo 3:

Pictured shows the good crop quality following applications of Plemax insecticide in the trial at Werribee in Victoria.]


Video: Daniel Polson from ADAMA Australia introduces Plemax, a new mode of action insecticide for chewing pest control in brassica, leafy and fruiting vegetable crops.


*The ADAMA Custodia Forte, Trivor & Plemax Double Points points promotion is valid nationally to Nutrien Rewards Members. To be eligible for the double points offer, the Nutrien Rewards member must purchase ADAMA Custodia Forte, Trivor and/or Plemax from any Nutrien Ag Solutions store that is part of the Nutrien Rewards Program between 1 October and 31 October 2023 (inclusive) using their Nutrien Account. Points will be applied to the Member’s Nutrien Rewards account the following month. Please see Nutrien Rewards Terms and Conditions for more details.

**Terms and conditions apply and can be found here.


The information provided in this article is intended as a guide only. Information contained in this article has been provided by the manufacturer/ You should not rely on the information in this article, and it should not be considered advice. You should seek professional advice regarding relevant factors specific to your situation. This article does not take into account variable conditions that may impact performance. Always read and follow label directions before using any product in this article. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Nutrien Ag Solutions Limited and its related associated entities will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by any person arising out of any reliance on any information contained in this article.