Version 3 Date June 2020 Reference 71


BIOPEST® is a high-grade, paraffinic oil specifically developed and formulated to be safely applied to leaf surfaces whilst still maintaining insecticidal & fungicidal properties.

BIOPEST® has been extensively field tested in fully replicated, independent and internal field trials in a range of Australian winter crops. BIOPEST® has proven to be extremely effective in canola and cereal production as:

  • An IPM friendly alternative and/or a tank mix partner to traditional insecticides.
  • A tank mix partner to improve herbicide effectiveness on a range of weeds.
  • A tank mix partner to improve fungicide effectiveness on a range of diseases.


Field trials of BIOPEST® show it can be used as an insecticide to suppress populations of:

  • Aphids in cereals, including Russian wheat aphid.
  • Green peach & cabbage/turnip aphid in canola.
  • Diamondback moth in canola.

On small populations, BIOPEST® works to suppress insects in several ways. First, BIOPEST® physically smothers and suffocates insects, such as aphids and other relatively immobile pests. Second, it negatively affects their nervous system. Third, BIOPEST® slows population growth by coating the leaf surface and detering insects from colonising and laying eggs. Because these are physical modes of action, there is little to no chance of resistance developing in insect populations.

Finally, BIOPEST® generally doesn’t affect beneficial, predatory insects, such as predatory wasps, lady birds and bees, because they are more mobile and are not contacted during application. This allows beneficial insects to continue providing pest control in their own right, while affected pests provide a food source. Not using broad spectrum insecticides and maintaining beneficial populations, is the basis of an IPM strategy when using BIOPEST®.

Graph 1: Source: Peracto SAC00114 – Moora Oct 2014


BIOPEST® has been extensively trialled for insect control in canola and cereals, with results indicating that it is as effective as traditional insecticides. At the same time, it avoids the downsides of traditional insecticides including resistance development, impacts on beneficial populations and low user safety.

Graph 2: (Source: AgXtra – Murray Bridge February 2017)


To simplify the use of BIOPEST®, SACOA have invested heavily in evaluating the incorporation of BIOPEST® into existing agronomic practices, as an adjuvant replacement with a range of herbicide actives and cropping systems.

Incorporating BIOPEST® into an early post-emergence herbicide application enables insect populations to be suppressed prior to numbers building. It also provides an anti-feed effect and some protection from low levels of early disease. BIOPEST® is no less effective than a standard adjuvant in controlling weeds, with a range of commonly used herbicides.

As a herbicide adjuvant alternative, BIOPEST®, being formulated from a paraffinic base oil, has a number of properties which make it effective at increasing herbicide performance including:

  • Controls existing populations by coating the leaf and physically smothering.
  • Increasing droplet size to improve coverage & droplet survival.
  • Penetrant properties to assist herbicide actives into leaves, which is particularly important for Group A herbicides.
  • Safe emulsifier package which will not result in an increase in crop phytotoxicity with common herbicides and/or UAN mixtures.

Graph 3 & 4:(Source: Avon Valley, SACOA May 2016 )

Graph 5: (Source: Doodenanning – SACOA June 2016)


BIOPEST® is a high-grade, paraffinic oil specifi Blackleg and Sclerotinia in canola can be devastating for yield but can also result in the buildup of sclerotes in the soil affecting later crops. Given BIOPEST®’s proven fungicidal effects in a range of other crops, including bananas & pulses, BIOPEST® has been rigorously tested over the last four years as a carrier for common canola and cereal fungicides in a range of fully replicated, independent and internal trials.

The results show that BIOPEST® doubled the effectiveness of some fungicides giving yield increases of up to 350 kg/ha.

BIOPEST® improves the effectiveness of fungicides in three ways:

  • Modifies the spray droplet spectrum to increase the droplet size and improve coverage.
  • Improves the longevity of the fungicide on the leaf by increasing weatherability.
  • Increase uptake of the fungicide active into the leaf and plant cell.

Graph 6:(Source: SACOA November 2016 )

Graph 7: (Source: SACOA November 2016 )


BIOPEST® manages insect populations by contact and smothering. It also deters feeding by reducing the attractiveness of leaves to pests. It is therefore important to apply early prior to insect populations developing and to ensure thorough coverage of both upper and lower leaf surfaces.

Always use BIOPEST® in relatively high water volumes (80-100 l/ha) with medium to coarse droplets to improve canopy penetration. BIOPEST® is an effective droplet modifier and will increase the average droplet size.

Ensure that the spray solution contacts the part of the plant with the heaviest disease and or insect pressure. This is particularly important for green peach aphids which tend to colonise the underside of leaf surfaces. Effective ways of getting coverage on the underside of leaves include setting up the boom to create turbulence or applying in a cross wind.

Image 1: Green Peach Aphids (Source: – SACOA)

Image 2: Green Peach Aphids (Source: – SACOA)


Graph 8: Increase in canola leaf surface coverage with the addition of BIOPEST®.
(Source: Agvivo demonstration trial June 2014)




Throughout 2020, SACOA are continuing to invest in research on the beneficial effects of BIOPEST in a range of crops – specifically targeting the fit in  existing agronomic practices and measuring beneficial safety.


• Cotton Research Compendium ‘Leaders in spray oil and adjuvant technology for the cotton industry’ 2003-2010
• d/field-crops/fibres/cotton/cotton-pest- management-guide


Disclaimer and Copyright

This document should act as a guide only and no purchase or usage decisions should be made based on the information provided without obtaining independent, expert advice. SACOA and contributors do not necessarily recommend or endorse any products or manufacturers referred to. SACOA Pty Ltd will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information contained in this document. More information is available from SACOA via or 08 9386 7666, or by contacting your local reseller.
© 2020 SACOA Pty Ltd All Rights Reserved. SACOA and the GREEN S icon, ENHANCE, CROPSHIELD, PLANTOCROP, BIOPEST, XSEED, ANTIEVAP, STIFLE, SE14 and LURE H2O are registered trademarks of SACOA Pty Ltd.