Westbridge Announces California Approval of EPA Registered Biopesticide, Botector®, for the Prevention of Gray Mold and Other Diseases in Grapes and Berries

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Botector® is an effective organic plant protection product that works through natural competition for space and nutrients to prevent the gray mold pathogen, Botrytis cinerea, from colonizing on the flower or berry surface. It is ideal for use in Integrated Pest Management, there is no development of pathogen resistance and it is safe for humans, animals and beneficial insects.

Westbridge Agricultural Products announced today that the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has approved Botector® as an organic biological product for the prevention of gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) in grape and berry production, as well as Anthracnose, Phomopsis, and Rhizopus rots on berries.

Developed by bio-ferm GmbH of Tulln, Austria, and exclusively marketed in the United States by Westbridge Agricultural Products of Vista, California, Botector® is a highly effective biocontrol product that works by natural competition for space and nutrients. Gray mold, caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea, is a common disease that seriously impacts grapes and berries. It can be responsible for crop losses of more than 50% and negatively affect the quality of grapes and berries.

Botector® consists of two strains of Aureobasidium pullulans, which are naturally-occurring, ubiquitous microorganisms. These highly efficient microorganisms aggressively colonize and block the gray mold pathogen from infecting the flower or berry surface, preventing the pathogen’s growth. Since Botector® acts as a competitive antagonist and does not directly affect the metabolism of the pathogen, there is no risk of developing resistance, even with frequent applications.

Botector® has proven efficacy in more than four years of research and commercial trials under a variety of growing conditions. It has shown no negative impact upon fruit quality or the wine fermentation process and is safe for use around bees and beneficial insects. Control is achieved by applying the product alone or in combination with other products in a program of Integrated Pest Management. Botector® is exempt from Maximum Residue Limits (MRL’s), so there is no Pre-Harvest Interval (PHI), making it an ideal product to use when pesticide residues are a concern. It is approved for use in organic grape and berry production by the EPA and Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Organic Food Program.

Since 1982, Westbridge Agricultural Products has been a leading manufacturer and distributor of liquid organic fertilizers and specialty products. From its TRIGGRR® and Organic BioLink® to Earthtrend® Sustainables and SUNBurst® products, Westbridge provides a portfolio of high quality inputs that provide solutions to growers facing challenges in disease control, pest resistance and nutrient management.

For questions about Botector® or the Westbridge product line, please call (800) 876-2767 or visit http://www.westbridge.com.

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Margaret Lewis
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