Tech Note Series
Connect with SACOA



Herbicide Adjuvant Guide


SACOA offers a range of products suitable for olive IPM programs:

SACOA BIOPEST Paraffinic Oil

  • A premium quality iso-paraffinic oil for use as a biorational pesticide in olives, citrus, cotton & other horticulture. It can act as a versatile insecticide, fungicide, manager of aphid-transmitted viruses & carrier/adjuvant.

SACOA SUMMER Insecticidal Oil

  • A proven & economically priced summer spraying oil. Suitable as a carrier & effective pesticide for use in horticulture & cotton.


  • A specially formulated esterified seed oil designed to enhance the penetrating properties of both post-emergent herbicides & pyrethroid insecticides. Endorsed by Syngenta for use with Topik® it is particularly suitable for cold water applications

Using BIOPEST in Olive IPM Programs

BIOPEST is a highly refined food-grade iso-paraffinic oil formulation designed for use as a fungicide, insecticide, to manage certain aphid-transmitted viruses and as a quality adjuvant.

With an unmatched level of purity BIOPEST represents the most advanced attempt yet to provide growers with an IPM product capable of controlling multiple, unrelated pests and fungal diseases simultaneously.

BIOPEST, as an advanced biorational pesticide and adjuvant, is an essential olive IPM solution due to:

  • Proven effectiveness in disease and pest control.
  • Simultaneous management of a range of fungal diseases and pests.
  • No pest resistance.
  • Ability to modify pest behaviour.
  • Minimal impact on beneficial insects.
  • Not persistent in the environment.
  • Low toxicity to animals and grower.

Click here to read more about BIOPEST.

In a nutshell the use of BIOPEST in olive IPM programs should involve:

A Proactive Approach

  • Proactive spraying is essential to IPM programs and when using BIOPEST. Set pest thresholds, monitor and spray when necessary. This will avoid the expense of having to manage high or extreme pest levels.

Five Principles for Application

  1. High water volumes of between 1,000 - 5,000L/Ha depending on tree size
  2. Rates of between 0.5% - 1%
  3. Ideally, multiple applications
  4. Thorough coverage of the plant
  5. Constant agitation in the tank

Timings Will Vary

This chart provides a suggested approach to IPM program timings.
The timings of insect activity noted here are a guide only, as activity can vary with different seasons.

In general activity commences earlier the further north the planting. Hence regular monitoring of orchards is essential.

Crop Safety

The following paragraphs cover some important notes concerning crop safety when using BIOPEST, and other spray oils in olives.

Ensure Optimum Soil Moisture

Water-stressed trees are more susceptible to burn from pesticides including spray oils.

To minimise the chance of this occurring soil moisture should be at a optimum level before application. Spray as soon after an irrigation as the ground will permit operation of the equipment. Be sure to maintain adequate soil moisture from spring throughout the entire irrigation season.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Do not spray oils if temperatures will exceed 32°C during the day or relative humidity falls to 20% or below (in coastal regions, do not spray if the temperature will exceed 28°C to 32°C or the relative humidity goes below 30%). Do not use oil sprays immediately before, during, or following an unusually cold weather period.

Ensure Complete Spray Coverage

Coverage of the entire olive tree is essential. Some scale, mite or insect eggs can escape the suffocation by the spray because of poor coverage of the top of the tree where limbs are upright and oil does not reach the narrow crotches. Limb stubs left behind from pruning are also areas that may not be covered. Always thin out upright limbs and make cuts as close to limbs as possible.

A guide to rates & volumes for specific tree sizes is as follows.

Tree Height Litres/tree*
2.5 to 3.5 metres........5 to 15
3.5 to 5.5 metres........15 to 20
5.5 metres or higher...20 to 30
*Use lower amounts on trees, which have little or no leaf exposure.

Timing Copper Sprays

No copper sprays should be done during flowering.
Avoid Insoluble Powders When mixing with an oil spray, use liquid or water-soluble formulations of pesticides instead of insoluble powders whenever possible; insoluble powder affects interfacial surface relations and stability of dilute spray mixtures as well as the spreading and availability of oil in the spray deposit. If unavoidable, do not add more than 750g of insoluble powders per 100L of dilute oil spray mixture (as per the product label). Also, do not put the powders into the tank until the dilute mixture is above the three quarter level.

Soda Ash

The use of soda ash and spray oil such as BIOPEST for the control of some severe infestations and hard to kill scale insect pests has been recommended. The correct rates of application in these instances is 750g/100L (as per the product label).

Application of Methidathion (Supracide)

Do not apply Methidathion with, or closely following, a fungicide containing lime, as it will negate the insecticide's effectiveness. Methidathion is highly toxic to humans, other mammals, aquatic life, and the environment, and should only be used when scales are at heavy infestation levels, or all other treatments have been exhausted. Furthermore, methidathion should not be necessary if using IPM programs based on natural enemies and quality oils such as BIOPEST.