Coragen® Insecticide to Control Sugarcane Top Borer

The Issue

India is world’s second largest producer of sugarcane, and nearly 50% of country’s sugarcane production takes place in North India in Uttar Pradesh. However, DuPont India has recognized that the biggest problem that plagues the sugarcane crops is the reduced productivity caused by the sugarcane top borer, early shoot borer and top shoot borer.

This borer complex causes major havoc in sugarcane crop starting from 15 days post planting up to 180 days of the crop. The early shoot borer (ESB) eats away the soft luscious stem at the early stage of the crop. The top shoot borer (TSB) completely destroys the growing top shoots of cane during the last stages of growth.

The Challenge

The research and development team of DuPont India has found a perfect answer in DuPont™ Coragen® to completely wipe out the threat of pests like the sugarcane top borer, sugarcane early shoot borer and sugarcane top shoot borer. However for Coragen®, the challenges were plenty; like the price which is almost 3 times higher than the existing molecules with respect to the cost for dosage per acre. The existing molecules costs less than Coragen® but the fact that Coragen® helps farmers fetch additional income through better yield makes it more economical.

Also, Coragen® requires a soil drench application which was a totally new practice for farmers, and hadn’t been used for any other commercial cash crop or nursery. So, the challenge was not restricted only to bring about a behavioral change in accepting a new way of application but also required excess water. Soil drench per acre meant usage of 400 lt. of water per acre. The borer complex attacks from February to June, and these are the times when water is in short supply. And if ever monsoon is unfavorable then the farmer’s crop situation can get completely tricky. The third hurdle for the farmer is to arrange for appropriate manpower, because soil drench application is a labour intensive process and labour is becoming scarce nowadays.

The Solution

A single spray of Coragen® in 20-40 days window post first irrigation gave farmers very effective control of ESB, TSB for about 90 days.
Apart from better yield and robust establishment of crop, farmers experienced that Coragen® is also effective in control of stalk (Inter-nodal) borer as well. R&D efforts are on to check and assert this claim and get label expansion for the same.

The Benefit

DuPont™ Coragen® is a perfect solution for proactive, pre-emptive protection from the sugarcane top borer, sugarcane early shoot borer and sugarcane top shoot borer. Coragen® proves to be much economical as a result of higher yields. It showcases much better residual control and works effectively as the farmers need not visit the fields (to check for claimed pests) once the application is done. Coragen® facilitates the robust establishment of crop, with better girth, length and width of cane. It improves the appearance of crop and makes them more symmetrical, appealing with equal growth and height. Coragen® treated farms witness a higher number of Bandhayi- a local practice where a group of mature canes are tied together using a rope to prevent them from falling off. And above all, use of Coragen® increases the yield and help farmers realize a marketable profit.

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