Sevin (carbaryl) will continue to be available for chemical thinning and pest control in tree fruits, says Dr. Jonathan Akins, director of regulatory affairs with the supplier Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc.

Tessenderlo recently bought Sevin from Bayer CropSciences. Akins said the company heard that rumors had been circulating that Sevin would not be on the market for much longer. In fact, the company intends to continue marketing Sevin and has requested transfer of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registration.

Akins said Tessenderlo is interested in acquiring older niche products that are very effective and needed by the growers, but might not fit with the business strategy of larger chemical suppliers.

The larger companies, such as Bayer, are developing new products that have patent protection. As they look at their portfolios, they consider whether they can justify the cost of maintaining the older products or whether they would rather sell them to a smaller company that would keep it registered and supply it to growers, Akins said.

“It becomes a question of economics. A lot of these niche products fall off the table, and companies like ours are the ones that will come in and say, ‘Don’t get rid of that product.’”

Tessenderlo decided to buy Sevin because it was a well-known product that growers needed, Akins said.

Tessenderlo Kerley has acquired a number of tree-fruit products from larger companies. These include the herbicide Sinbar (previously owned by DuPont), the clay product Surround, which is used as both a sunscreen and pest control (previously owned by BASF), and the sunscreen Purshade (formerly owned by PureFresh).

“We’re trying to maintain these niche products for the growers so they don’t disappear and so the growers are not scratching their heads and saying, ‘What now?’” Akins said.