Pests are a concern for every farmer. Traditional pesticides are not utilized in organic farming, so farmers must search out practical alternatives. Steve Buchanan Omaha states that peptide pesticides could perhaps be the answer that organic farmers have long needed.
Steve Buchanan Omaha Describes the Use of Biopesticides
Traditional pesticides are made up of chemicals that can be harmful to humans as well as insects. Steve Buchanan Omaha states that biopesticides use a unique approach to pest control. They are made from natural materials, including plants, animals, bacteria, and minerals. These pesticides come from nature and are not harmful or toxic to humans. At the low tech end of the biopesticide spectrum, you have baking soda. It is well known as an insecticide.
When this concept is coupled with technology, new biopesticides are discovered. Traditional pesticides usually aim to kill a broad range of pests. Steve Buchanan Omaha says that biopesticides pesticides can be highly targeted to specific pests. This makes them less likely to be harmful to desired insects or animals.
Peptides are small chains of amino acids. They are essentially considered the building blocks of all protein. Steve Buchanan Omaha explains that on a basic level, peptides are now being used in a way that synthetic molecules are used in traditional pesticides. The active ingredient in the novel biopesticide is known as Spear. It targets the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Pesticides that target this receptor account for 30% of the global insecticide market.
Vestaron manufactures the Spear products. Spear-T is designed to control common greenhouse pests. It targets thrips, whiteflies, aphids, and mites. Spear-Lep is designed to use in crop fields. Spear-Lep targets lepidopteran pests including caterpillars, loopers, and worms. Both products are considered safe around other types of insects and animals.
Another product from Vestaron is Leprotec. Bacillus thuringienesis kurstaki is the active ingredient in Leprotec. This product opens the gut of the lepidopteran pests. This allows the Spear-Lep peptides to reach the insect nervous system, which will eventually cause death.
According to Steve Buchanan Omaha, Vestaron will become a major player in the insecticide market. There are six nerve and muscle receptors that account for 80% of the insecticide market. Vestaron is developing peptide biopesticides to address all of them. Environmentally safe pesticides that are as effective as synthetics can cause dramatic improvements in agriculture. Vestaron offers a safe insecticide option for small and large scale farmers.
Steve Buchanan Omaha says that one major concern from traditional pesticide use is the decline in the bee population. Many of the most popular chemical insecticides such as Neonicotinoids have become popular because they are safer around mammals, including humans. However, they attack the nervous system of important pollinator insects. This threat can reduce the production of fruit and vegetable crops due to a lack of pollination. Peptide-based biopesticides provide a much safer alternative that isn’t inherently harmful to beneficial insects.
Steve Buchanan Omaha spent his younger years growing up on a farm. He now continues that tradition with his own children. He is considered an advocate for the farm to table movement. In addition to providing fresh produce to local restaurants, he wants to normalize a healthier lifestyle and a love of nature across Nebraska and beyond