UTILIZATION “It’s pretty simple, but it’s pretty effective.” Some of the biggest customers in this arena are commercial-scale, organic farmers and people who tend small, organic gardens. Medicinal marijuana farmers also prefer using the pesticide due to its safety, Lester says. “They grow indoors so the humidity is very bad; they don’t ventilate a lot so you got the powdery mildew fungus growing in there, and they usually get insect problems, usually with aphids. “They don’t
want to spray indoors with a bunch of toxic stuff, so they always use the organics.” Currently, California is the biggest, organic producing and consuming state, Lester says. “These corn oil-based products will be used on pretty much any organic crop. Everything from all the high-end berry crops to vegetables.” Author: Chris Hanson Staff Writer, Ethanol Producer Magazine 701-738-4970 email@example.com
BIG IN BIODIESEL: A sample of corn oil sits next to Renewable Energy Group Inc. biodiesel produced from the ethanol coproduct. PHOTO: BOB MODERSOHN
a lot more testing and approval processes from the EPA to get them on the market.” Regarding extra processing, corn oil does not have to be a certain grade before being used in pesticide or fungicide production, Lester says. “All pesticides have to be approved by the EPA and they have a list of what they call generally recognized as safe ingredients that you can put into pesticides. If you use everything on that list, it makes it really easy for a manufacturer to get the product registered, and corn oil is on the list.” Corn oil, which can be combined with other ingredients, will kill soft-bodied insects by plugging up breathing tubes on their body, Lester says. The oil can also combat powdery mildew disease that can affect numerous types of crops, such as squash, cucumbers and melons. “It puts an oily coating on the leaf, then the fungus doesn’t get the chemical signals it needs to find its way into the plant,” Lester explains.
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