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Brevis is a novel new thinning chemical for apples and pears that will be marketed in Europe this year.

It was introduced by ADAMA Agricultural Solutions Ltd. (formerly Makhteshim Agan Industries).

Brevis is a low-dose formulation of metamitron, a herbicide used on sugar beets in Europe.

It was first marketed in Serbia in 2013 and will be introduced in France, Belgium, Greece, and Italy this year. Approval will be sought in other countries.

It has been studied by university fruit thinning experts in the United States, who report it is effective. Metamitron is a photosynthesis inhibitor that stresses the trees, limiting carbohydrate production and causing fruit to drop.

“It appears to have promise,” said Dr. Duane Greene, a horticulturist at the University of Massachusetts who tested it in 2010. “It shows strong thinner activity and appears to have no unfavorable fruit effects, although you can get phytotoxic effects at higher rates.”

Carbaryl (Sevin), the insecticide United States growers rely on as a fruit thinner, has been banned in Europe and replacements were needed.

“Brevis was found to be effective on all apple and pear varieties with flexible application guidelines at temperatures between 10˚ and 25˚C (50˚-78˚F) and on fruit sizes between 8 millimeters and 16 millimeters (1/3 to 2/3 inches),” the company said. “Moreover, farmers can control the thinning effect by adjusting the application rate. With its rapid leaf uptake, Brevis is less affected by the weather than other products currently on the market, in that rainfall more than two hours after application will not reduce its efficacy.”