Isoclast™ active – The appliance of science
Boris Castro, Global Technology Transfer Leader offers an insight into how Isoclast™ active demonstrates the practical application of R&D at Dow AgroSciences.
Heading up technology transfer for growth insecticides, Boris Castro’s overriding responsibility is to help develop the knowledge base of the Dow AgroSciences (DAS) global sales team. With an MBA and a PhD in Entomology and Agricultural Economics Boris is well placed to translate and communicate the science behind breakthrough innovations such as Isoclast™ active. “Ensuring that our teams really understand the attributes of new active ingredients like Isoclast is vital to achieving our overall ambition. And that’s to develop sustainable pesticide solutions that protect the quantity and quality of crop yields, which benefit both farmer and consumer alike.”
Key to the success of DAS is the research-led, cross-functional discovery and development process employed on a company-wide basis. “We consult continuously with agronomists and farmers to understand the ever-changing challenges that they face. As a result we’re very agile in applying science on a practical level to address gaps in the farmers’ toolkit.”
Speed of change is a significant problem for the crop protection industry. “Pest problems develop really quickly and so we’re constantly re-evaluating and evolving the science behind our active ingredients to ensure their efficacy. I think that Isoclast is a great example of this on-going process of testing and refinement. Its development history stretches back over 15 years with the Isoclast molecule synthesized around 2003. We then spent the next 8 years or so, evaluating Isoclast to ensure that it truly delivers its unique mode of action to target sap-feeding insect pests.”
First registered in South Korea in 2011, Isoclast is now available in over 40 countries worldwide with more registration submissions in Europe and South America. “We’re really pleased that this very practical application of science is already making a real difference. It’s already proving really effective on resistant species as well as helping protect yields of a whole host of crops, including fruits, nuts, vegetables, cereals, etc.”
Boris goes on to summarise the key benefits of Isoclast for both farmers and consumers. “Isoclast is fast-acting and long-lasting. This dramatically reduces the number and frequency of pesticide applications that need to be made. So as well as delivering immediate and durable control, Isoclast can also save a farmer those most precious of things – time and money. And for consumers, one of the key benefits of Isoclast is its ecological profile. It degrades rapidly, displays low toxicity and to date has been used on millions of hectares with no reported harm to bee colonies.
Clearly relishing his role Boris concludes, “As well being a major breakthrough in the global pesticide market, Isoclast offers a really practical solution to the on-going battle that farmers have with critical insect pests. Ultimately it can help them protect their crops and their livelihoods so that they can deliver sustainable produce safely and effectively.”