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fungicide application on corn

New fungicides for beating back diseases

Fungicides can play a key role in boosting yields. Here’s a look at a few new products for 2015.

Fungicides have become an important part of a lot of farmers’ crop protection programs, providing additional yield in a range of situations. As you look to your program for 2015, you’ll find a familiar word popping up: resistance.

Concern over resistant frogeye leaf spot in soybeans — a race has been found that is resistant to strobilurin class fungicides — is a sign that even these products can have trouble. It’s one reason you’re seeing more premixes or co-packs of different modes of action in the field.

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For 2015, there are some new products, and approaches, to consider when it comes to beating yield-robbing diseases. Here’s a look at a few, but keep in mind, this is an ever-changing landscape; consult with your local agronomist on the best approach for your farm. Here we cover three companies that offer something new for growers this year.

BASF

There are two pieces of news from BASF for 2015. First is the recent announcement that Priaxor D has been labeled for the 2015 season. Formulated specifically to take on strobilurin- resistant frogeye leaf spot, Priaxor D includes the active ingredient F500 (from Headline fungicide) and Xemium fungicide. The third component is tetraconazole, a curative triazole that stops frogeye leaf spot.

“Priaxor is still recommended where no strobilurinresistant frogeye leafspot has been identified,” says Megan Andriankaja, technical marketing specialist, Priaxor. She notes that Priaxor D not only controls biotic stresses, like crop diseases, but also provides some protection from abiotic stresses, like drought and excessive heat. “It’s a hard thing to know what the year will bring — whether it will be a disease year or a drought year — and Priaxor and Priaxor D can take that level of risk down,” Andriankaja says.

Recommended application timing for Priaxor D is at R3 because it is important to get in front of crop diseases, she says. While triazole is curative, as disease lesions develop, the inoculum level increases and it gets harder to control. So being proactive can help stop the problem before it starts.

With Xemium and F500, you’re getting about 28 days of protection from disease, which from R3 can carry a crop pretty far. The triazole will knock out most disease present at spraying. To learn more, visit agproducts.basf.us, or circle 133.

The second piece of news from BASF is Xanthion fungicide for corn, which is registered for 2015. Xanthion combines F500 with an EPA-registered biological fungicide. BASF picked up the technology when it purchased Becker Underwood in 2013.

Caren Schmidt, technical marketing manager, fungicides, BASF, notes this will be the first commercial season for the new product. Xanthion is applied in-furrow at planting, and it extends the zone of protection for the plant. “This goes as close to the seed as possible,” she says.

Increased use of in-furrow pop-up fertilizer has also built up the adoption of Headline in-furrow, Schmidt says.

Traditionally farmers would mix Headline into the tank to offer more protection from diseases and improve seedling health. Xanthion, however, can’t be mixed into the tank directly. The product must be added into the stream by direct injection, Schmidt explains. Many farmers already have these systems on their planters, and BASF is working with retailers on a system for providing the technology for the future.

The biological piece of this product actually grows on plant roots, and expands as the plant grows. The biological product kills diseases, and that growth also provides physical competition against diseases, increasing protection for the plant. BASF is conducting more tests to learn more about the longevity of the biological component on the plant. The product protects from rhizoctonia and fusarium, and suppresses pythium. To learn more, visit agproducts.basf.us.

Bayer CropScience

There’s no specific new product from Bayer CropScience for 2015, but there is new work with Stratego YLD that may be of interest to producers. The company pioneered the idea of using fungicide in corn at a V4 to V8 application timing. Bayer is refining that work for 2015.

“With the current level of uncertainty in prices, we looked at application,” says Thorsten Schwindt, product manager, broad-acre fungicides. “We have learned that you do not have to spray the full rate at that early application timing to get the same result.”

Schwindt says at the earlier spray timing, with less leaf tissue present, the company is seeing the same protection at 2 ounces of Stratego YLD per acre. “We saw the same yield lift with the 2-ounce rate at that early timing,” he says. “There’s less tissue there; the plants are smaller.”

He notes the plant mobility of Stratego YLD may make a difference, too. Schwindt says the early spray has an average yield return of 7 bushels per acre in corn. With the size-appropriate rate, he says, “It’s almost impossible with that [yield increase] not to get a return for your application.” Product cost is about $8 per acre, but since the early timing usually goes on with a herbicide and perhaps an insecticide, there’s no additional application cost for the fungicide. Learn more at bayercropscience.us.

Syngenta

There is a new product from Syngenta, and it has resistance clearly in mind. Trivapro (pronounced TRY-va-pro) is a three-active ingredient fungicide mix for the market. The aim is to have it labeled in time for the 2015 season.

“We’re using a new technology in Trivapro,” says Eric Tedford, fungicide technical brand manager, Syngenta. “We’re adding Solatenol — an SDHI fungicide — combined with a strobilurin and a triazole.”

The three-way mix is designed to avoid resistance issues with diseases before they get worse. “With three active ingredients and three different modes of action, it is much more difficult for a pathogen to mutate and overcome the [product],” Tedford says.

He notes the different active ingredients do their jobs in different ways, noting that the curative triazole will stop the disease from spreading. The new SDHI — Solatenol — likes the wax surface of the plant and will stick to it “like a coat of armor,” while the strobilurin component will move systemically through the plant. Learn more by visiting syngentacropprotection.com.

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TAGS: Crop Disease
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