California-based startup Crop Enhancement has unveiled a new farmland insect repellent. It is positioned as an alternative to pesticides, because it performs a similar function, but at the same time it is harmless to any form of life. Instead of killing insects, CropCoat simply hides the plants from them.
The composition of the CropCoat mixture is patented and classified, it is claimed that there are no toxic components in it. The general scheme is as follows - the mixture is diluted with water for ease of spraying on crops, and when the moisture dries up, a thin, harmless film remains on the plants. Insects stumble upon it and cannot understand that there is a plant under the film, and therefore go away without staying in this place.
Crop Enhancement does not explain whether the insects react like this - smell or physical contact. However, they assure that plants normally absorb sunlight through the film and it does not interfere with gas exchange. The film is biodegradable and disintegrates in up to 6 weeks, after which the crops require re-treatment. How expensive it is in comparison with pesticides is still difficult to say - the product will go on sale no earlier than next year.
Company representatives said that they have conducted about a hundred field studies in Indonesia, Africa, Central and South America, as well as in Europe. This helped prove that CropCoat does not harm anyone, but only expels insects. For example, when treating almond trees, the population of a strong pest - the orange worm - was reduced by 50%, which helped reduce damage by about $ 1200 per hectare.