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21 July, 2020 - 12:21 By Tony Quested

Top of the crops: PheroSyn enhances pest management

PheroSyn, a company spun-out from Rothamsted Research, the world-leading agricultural research centre in Hertfordshire, has announced plans to develop and supply new types of insect pheromones.

PheroSyn’s mission is to develop and supply novel insect pheromones that will be deployed to protect crops and reduce the use of pesticides. The first products are designed to target destructive midge pests that attack wheat, peas and pears.

Pheromone traps monitor and alert farmers when pest infestation levels are above a threshold level so need treating with pesticide in a controlled and sustainable manner.

By targeting specific pest species, PheroSyn pheromones will improve the efficiency of pest management. Pheromone lure packages will be supplied to pest management companies that integrate them into traps within the agribusiness sector, supplying the complete system to farmers and growers.

PheroSyn has recently benefited from seed funding received from the SHAKE Climate Change programme, which supports startups that have developed early stage science or tech-based ideas and which can have a significant impact on climate change. The programme is funded by the Societe Generale UK Foundation.

“Our strategy is to focus initially on destructive midge pests that are not currently catered for by other market players, while continually looking to add to our product portfolio through customer demand”, says Daniel Bahia, business manager at PheroSyn. 

“Our vision for agriculture is to cut greenhouse gas emissions thanks to the smarter deployment of chemical pesticides in pheromone-based integrated pest management strategies.”

Professor Angela Karp, interim director and CEO of Rothamsted Research, and director of the SHAKE Climate Change programme, added: “PheroSyn has demonstrated great ingenuity in ideas to help reduce the climate impact of food and farming, and I am fully confident they will continue to go from strength to strength.”

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