Aug 28, 2015
OMRI certification of the organic biopesticide Mycotrol O expires

Mycotrol O is a biopesticide with the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana as the active ingredient. Beauveria bassiana is pathogenic to a wide range of arthropod pests and I have used both Mycotrol O and the conventional formulations BotaniGard 22WP and BotaniGard ES in several studies against multiple pests over years. It showed good potential against thrips in lettuce, aphids in broccoli, lygus bug and spider mites on strawberries. The combination of Mycotrol O and azadirachtin emerged as a good tool for managing root aphids in organic celery and Mycotrol O consistently performed better than other options against Bagrada bugs in my laboratory assays.

Two days ago, a grower who has been using Mycotrol O for controlling Bagrada bug on multiple crops sent me an email he received from the distributor that the OMRI certification of Mycotrol O will expire as of Aug. 28. When I contacted Bioworks that markets Mycotrol-O, they confirmed that one of the ingredients of the carrier was challenged by OMRI for organic production and their new formulation, Mycotrol ESO is waiting for registration.

Metarhizium brunneum (=M. anisopliae) and Isaria fumosorosea (=Paecilomyces fumosoroseus) are the other two entomopathogenic fungi that are commercially available, but only the latter is registered for organic use. Beauveria bassiana is an effective pathogen and several growers are using against multiple pests.

It is important for growers and PCAs to make a note of the current status of Mycotrol-O.

Message received by the grower:

“We are contacting you today because of your recent purchase of (item), Mycotrol O. The vendor has notified us that the OMRI organic certification for this product will expire, effective as of Aug. 28. At this time (distributor's name) does not have a suitable alternative however a certified organic replacement product for Mycotrol O is under review by the manufacturer and may become available in the upcoming months.

If you are growing organically and have questions or concerns about your organic certification eligibility due Mycotrol O change in status please contact your certifying agency to ensure you remain in compliance with the regulations.”

Letter sent to growers by Bioworks:

On July 30 BioWorks was notified that the OMRI organic certification for Mycotrol O will expire effective Aug. 28. Mycotrol O has been OMRI certified since May, 2000. One of the base raw materials used as a component in the formulation of the carrier was challenged by OMRI for organic production.

BioWorks believes that replacing Mycotrol O with a product already in our pipeline (Mycotrol ESO) will be quicker than a reformulation and re-certification of the existing product.

Effective immediately, BioWorks will no longer ship/sell Mycotrol O product.

On, or before Aug. 28, OMRI's subscribers will be notified that Mycotrol O's OMRI certification has expired. This updated status will be communicated to the public by OMRI.

If you have existing inventory, it may be used until Aug. 28th as an OMRI listed product. After Aug. 28 Mycotrol O will no longer have OMRI organic certification. The replacement product for Mycotrol O (Mycotrol ESO) has been EPA registered and should be certified for organic production in the coming months.

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