A Key Component in Pecan Spray Programs

KeyPlex has long been a leader in plant nutrition, biocontrol and oil-based botanical research for the specialty crop sector.

Now, pecan producers can benefit from that leadership.

Insecticide resistance can quickly become a problem in pecan production. That’s where KeyPlex AWP can help growers manage the impact damaging insects and mites. The product has three different modes of action to enhance pest control and to help prevent resistance developing in conventional insecticides, according to KeyPlex Chief Executive Officer Gerald O’Connor.

KeyPlex has long been a leader in plant nutrition and biocontrol for the specialty crop sector servicing 16 countries. The company is now bringing its technology and expertise to Southeast pecan producers.



O’Connor said botanical oils (key components of KeyPlex AWP) are best implemented early in the production season, right at the beginning of the life cycle when insects start laying their eggs. When sprays are made on the eggs, it breaks the life cycle of the insects, as opposed to if the applications were made on adults. When applied early, KeyPlex AWP amplifies a pecan grower’s pest management program.

“We have learned that you need multiple blends of active ingredients,” O’Connor says. “What we have found is that if you have those in the correct order of percentages, they work so much better to control the impact of insect damage. We only use the purest, highest quality botanical oils, too. That’s what KeyPlex AWP delivers.”

The product also has systemic activity that helps control multiple insects and slugs in tree nuts. For both conventional and organic growers, two quarts of KeyPlex AWP per acre in 100 gallons of water will control thrips and mites. It also will extend the life of conventional insecticides that are vital to the future of pecans.

“You can use it with an existing set of chemistries where you’re getting resistance. A quart of KeyPlex AWP per acre will give existing chemistries — like Brigade or FujiMite — longevity,” O’Connor says. “That’s super important for growers and cost effective.”

“We’ve seen that time and time again, because the botanical oil chemistry in KeyPlex AWP binds to the existing single chemistry. When it binds, it gives it longevity and overcomes the resistance.”

Another benefit of KeyPlex AWP is its pre-harvest application restriction. Unlike other conventional insecticides, which have extended pre-harvest windows, KeyPlex AWP has no pre-harvest restriction. The product also has no restricted-entry interval after applications.



The net effect of preventative KeyPlex AWP applications and extending the effectiveness of other insecticides is dollars saved.

“It’s valuable because farmers don’t have to use many different products to gain what this one product can give them,” says Shannon Newman, KeyPlex regional sales manager. “They don’t have to go out and buy three different products to do what this one product can do. It saves them money.”

KeyPlex AWP is an oil-based product that is an effective alternative to harder chemistries. “Once these hard chemistries develop resistance, growers are going to have to turn to something else. We’ve got a product that will slow down that process and is effective at controlling key pests at the same time,” Newman adds.

The end result is reduced spray applications, which leads to a reduction in input costs. That’s a win-win for growers looking to save money.

“We have growers who apply KeyPlex AWP at the beginning of the growth cycle for the nuts to target mites. What they’ve shown is they get six to eight weeks of coverage,” O’Connor says. “A spray cycle could equate to $60 per acre plus the $20 or $30 for tractor time. You’re looking at around $100 savings per acre. If you do that over 1,000 acres, that’s a lot of money.”



In conjunction with KP 120, a highly concentrated root-growth generator, KeyPlex AWP will boost the taste and size of pecans, says Shannon Newman, KeyPlex regional sales manager.

“KeyPlex AWP is a biopesticide for insects, but when you combine it with our KeyPlex nutritional programs, it gets into the tree faster and extends the life of the product that you’re using. It will fight back the bugs,” Newman says. “When you put KeyPlex AWP with KP 120 at a higher rate, you get a better-quality nut and a bigger nut.”

We understand this video is on California Almonds but Ryan is a huge proponent of KeyPlex AWP and KeyPlex 120 is in orchard. From one grower to another, it’s worthwhile to watch!