Agtech development company Bio-Gene Technology Limited (ASX: BGT) has successfully completed Stage 2 of the joint research programme relating to Flavocide and stored grain pest control.
The four- way collaboration involves Bio-Gene, BASF, Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland Government (DAF).
Bio-Gene Chief Executive Officer, Richard Jagger, said the completion of the second stage of testing is a significant advancement in the programme, and one that helps define the product to be commercialised.
“We have demonstrated we have technology which allows one combination product to control all of the common stored grain pests, many of which are highly resistant to currently used products.
“There are no single compound products available today that address the market need to control resistant strains of all major grain storage pests and we are therefore very excited by these results.
“This will provide an effective solution to a major problem currently facing grain producers in Australia, and around the world.”
Building on the results of Stage 1 (announced in late April 2020), Stage 2 testing was to identify product combinations of Flavocide and other compounds to create the optimum treatment for control of all key stored grain pests, being the Lesser Grain Borer, Flour Beetle, Saw-toothed Beetle, Flat Grain Beetle and Rice Weevil.
Stage 2 studies were conducted in the laboratory using wheat grain stored under controlled conditions and involved two combination rates aimed at reducing the quantity of chemical required to provide control of the full range of resistant strains of the major pests of stored grain.
The results with both combination products showed high levels of control of first-generation (offspring) populations of all target species which supports the commercial viability of this technology.
The collaborating parties (Bio-Gene, BASF, GRDC and DAF) will review the data from the studies to date and determine the preferred treatment for Stage 3 field testing, which will assess the residual efficacy of the optimised combination for Flavocide and other chemical group products.
Stage 3 field testing is planned to begin in November, due to the seasonal availability of the grains, and extend over a nine-month period, with periodic assessments at 0, 3, 6 and 9 months after treatment. Following the results announced on 26 March 2020 that Flavocide was able to control key stored grain pest, the Lesser Grain Borer, for over 13 months (both in field and laboratory work), the Company is optimistic about the outcome for Stage 3 testing.
In the event of successful Stage 3 results, Bio-Gene will seek to formalise a commercialisation agreement with BASF, for the broad manufacture and distribution of Flavocide.