This is the second bioherbicide MBI has submitted for approval to the EPA (MBI-005 bioherbicide was EPA-approved in 2012). MBI-011 EP is a post-emergent burndown herbicide that can also be used as a crop desiccant. It has contact activity and no post-application planting restrictions are expected.
MBI-011 EP is being submitted for control of annual and perennial grass and broadleaf weeds in the agricultural, non-crop and consumer home and garden markets.
Dr. Phyllis Himmel, MBI vice president of research and development, noted how the product got its start when one of MBI’s chemists screened for herbicidal activity of medicinal herbs. During the testing of 350 different herbs, an extract of dry long pepper (Piper longum L.) fruits showed activity against lettuce seedlings. This active ingredient was identified as sarmentine, a naturally occurring compound that gives black pepper its pungent aroma.
The new bioherbicide offers broad-spectrum control and will provide an alternative to herbicides that are highly prone to resistance. According to the International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds, weeds have developed resistance to 148 different herbicides in 63 crops in 61 countries.
“With the continuing and widespread identification of herbicide resistant weeds, we are very excited about submitting this product for registration,” said Dr. Pam Marrone, CEO. “It has become increasingly clear that no one product can be the ultimate solution to a weed problem and herbicide users need an array of tools to combat weeds. One of the most important benefits we provide users of all our biopesticide products is helping them strengthen their Integrated Resistance Management (IRM) programs. With our new herbicide, we believe we are making a positive contribution in this area.”