Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Caterpillar Technology; Biological Control Company Grows

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Caterpillar Technology; Biological Control Company Grows

Article excerpt

Byline: Gen Kennedy gen.kennedy@thechronicle.com.au

HOW IT WORKS

Caterpillars are hatched from eggs in the factory.

Some caterpillars are turned into moths to produce more eggs; the rest are infected with a naturally occurring virus.

The caterpillars die, and the material is used to formulate a spray for various crops, which is eaten by the helicoverpa insect.

The spray is fatal to the insect.

IN AN unassuming factory in Glenvale, millions of caterpillars are growing every week.

Biological insect control company AgBiTech, which officially opened its factory yesterday, uses the critters as part of a pest spray for a variety of crops.

The caterpillars are infected with a virus, which develops, and eventually the dead caterpillars are formulated into a spray to fight the helicoverpa insect.

AgBiTech CEO Anthony Hawes said as well as continuing to supply the local market, the Toowoomba-based company would be rapidly expanding its supply to Brazilian farmers, whose crops have recently been invaded by the pests. …

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